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From the Serpent`s Nest

Из логова змиева

What I took from the serpent's nest,
the serpent's nest in Kiev,
was a witch, not a wife.
I wanted a girl for the fun of it,
some high-powered fun girl,
some singing songbird.

Call her: she makes a face.
Hug her: she fights back.
The moon shines, she moans,
and stares, goes limp
like a mourner at a grave
— and wants to drown

Herself. I try to tell her: look,
a good Christian like me
shouldn't mess with you.
Why not go away, you and your moaning,
down to the Dnieper whirlpools,
over to wild Bald Mountain.

Nothing, not a word. She sits by herself,
feeling lousy,
and I feel sorry for her
guilt, she's like a bird I
shot, a birch tree I dug out,
a birch tree leaning over bewitched ground.

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