Seven Shaved Bald in One Room

How did the station burn?
Do you remember how it was in Tolstoy?

The explosion, Did you see?
My son calls from Gomel: “Are the May bugs out?”
We’ll sit sometimes, and count: who’s died?

Who are we burying?
What are we going to name him?

One thing I don’t know is, Do people have souls?
How do they all fit in the next world?

My grandpa took two days to die,
I was hiding behind the stove and waiting:
how’s it going to fly out of his body?

Where was he going to go?

Sometimes I’ll close my eyes and go
through the village—well, I say to them,
what radiation?

Have you seen it? Is it white, or what?

Who’s going to pay us for this beauty?
How can it be dirty when it’s so clean?

(poem composed of questions found in Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich)