Skip to content

choosing a thermal sensor or night-vision device,

you scroll, in wonder, through all these models,

designed for tracking animals,

and spotting shy birds in the wild,

and then, in horror, through those designed for hunting,

for neither beast nor bird deserves this

not the elk, not the stiff carcass of a hare, not the delicate body of a roebuck

flashing past the thermal imager, confused and uncertain:

where to flee? who's in my rightful place?

a dog’s hot body shows redder than a human’s

how often did it warm you in the trenches, sheltering

from the roaring missiles

the gophers, weasels, moles are so small and unremarkable,

they don’t count

taking aim, you must remember

human warmth is special —

it can kill

human warmth

Amelia M. Glaser & Yuliya Ilchuk, translation from
the Ukrainian written by Halyna Kruk


More from
Poem of the Week

Ishion Hutchinson

XXXVI