Сойдём с Ума/We Will Walk Out of Reason – Danielle Ranucci

Author’s Statement: This piece is about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Please donate to humanitarian efforts if you can.

Boys swagger past
On the cement,
Wielding their cigarettes
Like bayonets,
Their boots
Like tank-treads.


They stop.
A shackled ghost
Stands before them.

“Here’re your
Certificates dated next week.

Don’t you see them?
As spring buds
Swell above,
And nightingales

Home is a land
You should never touch the edge

Or step off the edge of
Reason into…”


As if they hadn’t
Already thought that,
As if they hadn’t struggled
Already against it,
As if they hadn’t lost
Already to it,
As if their laughs were free
And not tears in chains.

Spring buds
Burst above.
The nightingale’s song

Boys march on,
Bone-white papers
Smothered beneath