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Eastern Europe
By Inga Piotrowska


I come from a country of sunrises,

sperm stains on cassocks,

beer bottles with piss

used condoms dumped at wayside shrines.


I come from a country of atonements,

wives’ bruised knees

husbands’ cross necklaces.


Our hell is cobbled with wasteful spending,

we collect rosaries instead of Yankee candles.


Shame is a plastic Mary statue

takes long to degrade.


Generations conceived on wayward shrines

keep looking to the west

forget that the sun rises in the east.


Yet even storks return

to see the colors of Polish mornings.

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