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I took a trip to Ukraine. It was June.

I waded in the fields, all full of dust

and pollen in the air. I searched, but those

I loved had disappeared below the ground,

deeper than decades of ants. I asked

about them everywhere, but grass and leaves

have been growing, bees swarming. So I lay down,

face to the ground, and said this incantation —

you can come out, it’s over. And the ground,

and moles and earthworms in it, shifted, shook,

kingdoms of ants came crawling, bees began

to fly from everywhere. I said come out,

I spoke directly to the ground and felt

the field grow vast and wild around my head.

Scorched Maps

Mira Rosenthal, translation from
the Polish written by Tomasz Rozycki


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