lower cased shells
scattered across
Ukraine’s capital.
bruised broken skin
only braises Ukrainians’ spirit
lighting ragged
russian vodka bottles
burned when
there is
only round tables
no position is turned
strength is found
through vantage
surviving a home invasion
creates new adages
to share
which is the receipt of
the living.
heroic to leave
courageous to stay
cowardice took trains
from moscow to Ukraine
bordered door
as war knocks
to answer
is with molotov cocktails
to answer
is with dismantling street signs
to answer
is to court your home’s advantage
to take it here
when it was brought
from there
if resistance finds comfort
reject its advances.
the language of collision
is comedic but not comical
it’s Kyiv slapstick, rocks, and slingshot
starving out goliath tanks
the gigantic are hearts wrapped in
blue and yellow
the tongue of strength says
“I’m not hiding.”
so that their people can.

Copyright © 2022 by Emanuelee Bean. This poem originally appeared in Houston Arts JournalUsed with permission of the author.