“Child, hold your doll, hold your teddy bear, hold your kitty.” by Marjana Savka

In this poem, on a train winding through a burnt world towards longed-for shelter, an adult pleads to a desperate child to hold their teddy, to not cry.

The Bureaucrat’s Day by Balla

While buying some “superb” illegally produced sausages, a bureaucrat tries to come to terms with the thing that lives in his office.

Then Without the Body by Béla Markó

“collapse, rejection, resurrection, / this is what we all longed for, / this broken bread”—Béla Markó, in Anna Bentley’s translation.

On the Problem of Faith by Daphne Merkin

“Looking for a road back to a world view that allows for sacred moments,” essayist and novelist Daphne Merkin examines her own faithlessness.

“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.

The Eye of the Storm by Viktor Horváth

Father Viktor struggles to contain his rage against Prime Minister Ferenc Ács, until one day he receives a visit from men in suits.

“Later we will have to reinvent the words” by Kateryna Kalytko

In this poem by Kateryna Kalytko the Ukrainian poet rediscovers words, naming objects as a means of self-preservation, entering a shelter of language.

Sunday Afternoon in the Hills by Rita Halász

In this short story by Hungarian writer Rita Halász a mother and her partner tensely await the homecoming of her teenaged daughter.

Transit by Mária Ferenčuhová

This poem by Slovak poet Mária Ferenčuchová is a hypnotic meditation on the end and rebirth, a chillingly personal image of intimacy.