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I’ve always preferred Cain.

 

His angry
loneliness, his
lack of his mother’s
love, his Christian
sarcasm: “Am I
my brother’s keeper?”
asks his brother’s murderer.

 

Aren’t we indeed
the keepers of our dead?

 

Let me start again:

 

I prefer apples that roll
far from the tree.

 

Dry like a twig
is umbilical cord, tucked between legs.

 

How did they cut it, Cain? With

 

a stone?

 

Under Criminal Record
write, “Mother, home.”
Under Weapon
write, “Mother, home.”

Genesis

Valzhyna Mort

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translated from the Ukrainian written by
Halyna Kruk