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This poem is taken from PN Review 245, Volume 45 Number 3, January - February 2019.

Send Me an Angel (translated by Anne Gutt)
'Send Me an Angel' and other poems
translated from the Russian by Anne Gutt
Nina Iskrenko
Thirst

Since morning there’s been a shake-up in Ur of Chaldea
They change the sheets  They clean the silver
The camels weren’t given a drink for the second week in a row
In the water-carrying jug a spider reminds you of the map of the Babylon metro

It’s hot   The Matriarch brims with milk and honey on the outpost
Now and then the bride is sent with a milking bucket to the roof
The setting sun seeing her thinks   I’ll beautify the roof too
It’s a lot of work to milk the clouds though

She is white-stone   Multifunctional   Gentle
Muffled in a snow-white bandage to her eyebrows
The slave of sin weary from the road will exclaim  Bravo
Dropping beads and sweat on her intimidating pedestal

Come on girl     he’s your lord     that is to say the lord of sin
                                                     but according to us Aquarius
Come outside as soon as it’s dark and at last let him quench his thirst
So that having seen   you    among the pineapples fountains
...


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