19th January 2023


2 minutes read

Iya Kiva

“i :says Marina: am a refugee-person”

translated by Katherine E. Young

19th January 2023

2 minutes read

i :says Marina: am a refugee-person

juvenile sea of shame of a war of blame

attacking the body of the sleeping city


i’m a hare in a circus in a khorovod

dancing on my sole remaining leg


do you hear how time’s floorboards creak

my lost paws cross themselves

at the root out of sequence


i :continues she/it: am a hell-person

night drilled a pupil in my eyes


i stand on the world’s scales

and swing alienable proofs


the act of violence began so long ago

that shoots rose from its every motion


i :it insists: am the swollen pit

in the mouth of a flaming grape

the planned deflowering of glands


i don’t recognize the speaker, but animals

with an abundance of tongues once roamed these voids

and walked about trapped in a warped cone of light


and now the doors of the grass are closing

the thin film of brightness flies backwards

i find myself in the belly of an unending road


here mercury flatware gleams beneath each border

and it smells treacherously of the scorched sugar of home

and like a candle my cooling trail burns in the snow

written by

Iya Kiva

More about the author

Issue 03


More about this issue

translated by

Katherine E. Young

More about the translator


“i :says Marina: am a refugee-person” by Iya Kiva
In this poem by Ukrainian poet Iya Kiva, a “refugee-person” offers a self-definition that is as violent and sorrowful, as it is defiant and elusive.
“my son, so much material’s been delivered to the warehouse” by Iya Kiva
A poem by Ukrainian poet Iya Kiva in Katherine E. Young’s translation.