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Ken Price, “View from Window, Venice” (1992), ink on paper at Matthew Marks Gallery at Frieze Los Angeles 2019 (photo by Elisa Wouk Almino/Hyperallergic)

sonnet: blitshteyn

i’ve already staked my fate to my name

like a fool in dual languages, dura,

дура, like a duel in foul languages,

сукa, a bitch, the first thing they teach you

door in four languages, all of them closed

drool in foal languages, all of then nay

dour in fuel languages, all of them lit

droll in full languages, all of them laid

the first thing they teach you, блядь, like a whore,

blyat, like a splatter, blat, like a bullet,

blit, like a little, shteyn, like a lot, stain,

like it matters, stone, as in not, then n.

sonnet: mutter

bitte, this city, better to see you

with, better for seething, bitte, and please

remember it pleasing, betting on you

and won, my city, my gott, and stippled

with sun splattered leaves, better to leave you

seeming to love me, better to seek you

out of the rubble of my leben, love,

bitter, liebe, i left my mutter, mum,

her mother, her name was libbe, i moved

to citty, to set my grieving aside,

and bitte, behold, unbidden, i left

its light in my heart, good riddance citte

my citte a citte bitte unlit

like a match spit on, unsmitten, unmet

after all, unfall, unbitten apple

*    *    *

Marina Blitshteyn is the author of Two Hunters (Argos Books, 2019), supported with a CLMP Face-Out grant. Prior chapbooks include Russian for Lovers (Argos Books, 2011), Nothing Personal (Bone Bouquet Books, 2015), $kill$ (dancing girl press, 2016), and Sheet Music (Sunnyoutside Press, 2018). She teaches composition and hybrid forms at Fordham, Parsons, and New York University.

Wendy Xu

Wendy Xu is the author of the poetry collections Phrasis (Fence, 2017), winner of the 2016 Ottoline Prize, and You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013). The recipient...

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