Swallowing it down

The humiliation of scraping out a very modest living mostly doing things I’d rather not to.

The fact that you can’t find Chernigivske in blyadskii Durham.

The fact that my brother is crying.

Being treated as though I’m not a human being by persons who will go unnamed.

The senseless jumble of highways and fast-food restaurants, and me, lost among them, because, once upon a time, my father decided a few things.

No more good bread, crosses standing crooked on the graves of the forgotten, the evenings in the kitchen with the purring cat, the hibernating grapevine, and the streets at night, taking me to tall buildings with damp stone, and among the stones, people I love…

No more Kiev, Kiev, Kiev – where Bulgakov once was a red-headed schoolboy, where there is always the best and worst of times.

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