Mar/Apr 2016 • Vol. XXXVIII No. 2 Poetry in TransylvaniaMarch 1, 2016 |

Painkillers and Sleeping Pills

Translated from Ukranian by Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps From the city that never lets you sleep,which caresses so sweetly and presses so harshly,friends asked for so many different things: sauces, cameras,cosmetics, some fucking mosaic,telephones, seeds, Keds. But Katyaasked for painkillers and sleeping pills.Lord, lead us into Brooklyn without our GPS,change our visas from temporary to permanent.I would give her the addresses of all the bordellos and bars;I’d bring her a seagull or even a dusky princess,but she wanted painkillers and sleeping pills.All the migrant workers, whores, and scholarship students,managers, nannies, and diaspora grannieswho came here to die happy,suffer from pains, and curse through their prayers at night,take painkillers, and dream about sleeping pills.Katya, night tangles the nets in the ocean,it nauseates you before you order and drinkon the farthest street in the dirtiest bar.We all hurt the same—you, me, and the kidsof the Chinatown fishermen

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Kateryna Babkina is a Ukrainian writer, author of poetry collections St Elmo’s Fire (2002), The Mustard (2011), and Painkillers and Sleeping Pills (2014); short story collection Leloo After You (2008); and a novel titled Sonya (2013). The play Hamlet.Babylon was recently staged in Kiev and Geneva. Her poetry and prose have been translated and published in different collections and magazines in Poland, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Romania, France, and USA.

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Translated from Ukranian by Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps From the city that never lets you sleep,which caresses so sweetly and presses so harshly,friends asked for so many different things: […]

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