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  • Writer's pictureKyx


two brothers playing on monkey bars

but their faces are sullen,

russell stays on the swings

while on the sand uki strays far,

they hear the chattering of others

the younger wants to join them:

uki makes moves to run;

but russell wants to stay together

without a word, russell swings his fist

and catches his brother as he ran

pins him to the sand,

ignoring his screams as he twists

on the periphery are those other boys

they stand, horrified expressions

on their faces as they shout encouragement.

as they watch, all they give is their voice.

but what are empty words, uki thinks:

what are motivational speeches

when i’m here punching back

while they stand there watching me sink

oh brother, how could you bear to hurt

a face that looks so much like yours

pretend not to hear my cries

when you speak the same words

lyubov: love in ukranian


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