she used to bend over her teacup brim as if it were the edge of the universe

The young Belarusian poet Valzhyna Mort (1981-) is an absolute powerhouse. This poem is from her debut collection–and the first¬†Belarusian/English poetry book published in the US–Factory of Tears.¬†I will definitely be posting more of her work in the future.

“A Portrait of a Mother in Fall”

we tie a knot on everything that bends
and only our necks are free of knots
the sky like the soggy feathers of a bird
that’s sleeping or most likely dead

and dinner comes
exchanges food
for our time

she used to bend over her teacup brim
as it if were the edge of the universe
and she would sip and pause
and never talk
of what she might have seen

and it is comforting to know
when far away:
the end of the world
is in our mother’s hands.