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Kenneth Rosen

O UKRAINE!

i.

Twilight may bloom pink

And covertly maroon

As a lover’s young adult bottom.

The insistently re-articulated song

Of a single, invisible bird

Can fill a whole, leafless sky—

ii.

Still barren, dilatory spring

Here in Maine, nominally

Nearly mud season: snow in the north

And on western mountains—birdsong

Chirrups, tweets, can fill a sky,

But angel glissandos, a female voice’s

iii.

Blurred wordless carillon, naked

And indecent as their soul,

Or so a rabbi has hopelessly intoned

Of bells like the alphabet of that Book

Of Kells, which fondle a person’s

Consciousness and fill their skull-bowl

iv.

With hopeful fantasies of follies past

Like a wind at night makes

Windows whine and tree limbs big

As arms and legs break and fall as if

To writhe and grovel, and yet

Lie motionless as the dead on sorely

v.

Trodden battlefields—O Ukraine,

O limbs and bodies blossoming

Wounds and live buds pink and green

As watermelon tourmaline, to get back

To a melon's raw, red,

Seedy or seedless, solemnly buttressed

vi.

And bifurcated, deft, bold, impudently

Cleft, sweet, round, watery

Meat to whose anatomic geometry’s logic

The mind hypnotically cleaves for dear life

And can involuntarily

Make even the wisest rabbi smile.

vii.

Pink and green, the broken branches’

Live buds: doomed, stubbornly

Living as if the trees’ stark, leafless labyrinth

Against the sky waved, wove, twitched as if

Squid tentacles’ independent brains

In each of their waggling, groping tips.





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