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the truth?

is the white cursive issued from a brick chimney

is a skeleton in brown gabardine

wandering the underground city, an accent

adrift in its second language

over a b-side version of empire

i speak french. i am a sovereign state drifter

winter hinterlander with a mortgage

and expired aeroplan points, a vacation blazing

on the credit line

unnecessary to my history, my culture extracurricular

creole vernacular stutterer, i ride the metro

underground with my fur

collar tickling my chatter, metro shuttle station to station,

but i don't matter, carapace of white earbuds contains my rude -

redemption, i go to work in the heart of a conquered

devotion, a thin mist descends over me

a blown surrender,

snow falls through me. it is always snowing inside me.

my hand is a blue fleur-de-lys torched by autumn

my sap is slow, it hardens glistening in its circuit,

the sharpness of pine and spruce tingles

on the yellow edge of my breath

i find refuge from winter in the hudson's bay

boxing day sale. born in a corporation, i can't pretend,

i was not born on the equator,

i died in the upholstered ease of a sedan, and here is my after, city blistered

gray by salt and winter, work in a tower, a payment plan carrying anonymous

class aspirations, and this

is my squalor, an abstract longing to cruise the foothills in a lincoln continental

hearse, bleached teeth chattering nonsense as the zero of winter ascends

the truth?

Kaie Kellough

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translated from the Ukrainian written by
Natalka Bilotserkivets