She’s a proud one.
In her belly, mostly flat and pigmented lightly,
she houses not many
and those who are there were lucky;
here, they live in kinship and union.
Her fields are fruitful
as are her cities of trade and youth.
Young mothers with never-ending legs and hair
witness in almost stenciled ways
the twenty-seven year-old herself
navigating this foreign realm of freedom.
Men hardly catch up, in spite of gym routines, soft talks over hard liquor and
the willingness to fight for it.
Meanwhile, truly, her new belonging is one of self-acceptance
it’s all new to her.
Until recently, prostitutes’ shabby sidelines were her place, waiting,
over the course of decades,
for yet another perpetrator;
brutality is her most vivid memory.
So slowly but surely, sadness subsides these days,
Soviet facades crumble and
scars overgrow with Ivy and youthful dreams;
they lie among the stars these days.
Even though the exodus continues, this is an astounding beginning!
She’s quite flirtatious and irrevocably sure
of the deal she offers:
It’s a lot of losses in every part of her being,
a ritualized muscle of Catholic religiosity
that’s just taken up a shy pilgrimage toward unresolved depths and truths
and a promise of romance
joining, dividing, fusing inevitably
east and west,
and irresistibly so.