War of the Beasts and the Animals

by Maria Stepanova

that night
over the field of battle
the nachtigall tells the nachtigall
nightingasps in disbelief

and in neighbouring places
bird tells bird passing
from beak to beak like a dead frog
the exact science:

earth’s caesura
between the stains of the sighted
between the mottled zone of streetlights
warmed by proximate life
and its answering beam

the sightlessness of moss on boughs
anxious flight

armoured vehicles
aimed at movement


no difference between first and second
patriotic or patriotic
great or pacific

all the same they fall
to the only the civil
where sunrise quivers in the cinders

draws out the spear-tips

mate eh mate
giss a light
says the dead to the dead
says the killed to the killer

Last updated July 20, 2021