liver licked out of shape,
moldova moya, liquor
loves your shakes

louder the laughing,
lucky the fool, moldova
moya, playing pool

laid out, olives
like eyes, moldova moya,
milk and lies

loved me once, listen
moldova, my semitic
look, moya svoboda

loved my lips fuller,
moya rabota, moldova,
developed Golgotha

old stolen slogans, you
listened, moya
moldova, you listed

our livers on sale, you whistled
when missiles sailed over, moya
moldova, moya lyubovnitza

missed you last winter,
darling, moldova, missed the last
kisses, s’novim godom

beloved, maybe next season
I’ll visit, moldova,
maybe you’ll listen

to livers and spleens,
delicious fishes, moldova
moya, kneading you

clean as whistles,
moya moldova, holding you
over till new year’s eve,

moldova moya, moy
gorod, svoboda, my little
mother, my proper model,

my small apartment,
my playground, my bottle
my cobbles, my sled,

my awkward muddle
in my moldova, and moya shkola
and apples, and bread


love in Moldova was originally published in Fawlt Magazine

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Born in the Soviet Union, MARINA BLITSHTEYN and her family fled to the US in 1991 as refugees and settled in Buffalo, NY. She studied English at SUNY Buffalo, where she edited the longstanding annual Name poetry journal, and Creative Writing at Columbia University, where she also served as a University Writing Fellow and consultant. She is the author of Two Hunters, her first full-length collection, published by Argos Books in 2019 with a CLMP Face-Out grant. Prior chapbooks include Russian for Lovers (Argos Books), $kill$ (dancing girl press), Nothing Personal (Bone Bouquet Books), and most recently Sheet Music with Buffalo's own Sunnyoutside Press. Her work has been anthologized in the new Brooklyn Poets Anthology, The &Now Awards 3: The Best Innovative Writing, Why I Am Not a Painter, My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry, Through Clenched Teeth, and Far Villages, forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press. Recent work can be found in Hyperallergic, Peach Mag, Boog City, No, Dear Magazine, and Sixth Finch. She teaches Composition and Rhetoric and experimental nonfiction, and occasionally runs The Loose Literary Canons, a feminist reading group in NYC.

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