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Published: Fri Nov 25 2022
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas
Online 2022 War Translating Crime
Shopping Lists

I use Google Translate for the shopping lists
from V, a friend in Ukraine.
Nappies, baby milk, medical staplers, burn gel,
intubation tubes
(no size specified),

a little like the shopping lists from the President—
multiple rocket launch systems, Grad, Uragan,
tanks (T-72, either the American or German analogs),
air defence systems
. No kidding.

Today V writes, “Thank you! We are together!”
And on his Facebook page—here Google takes over
as they take over everything—I’ll do the line breaks:

The image can be: 1 person and text
found killed hands were tied
with an iron cable blackened body—

Oksana applied on clothes and special signs
now the body is under examination in Fastov

I look on the person’s page. A recent post
details another
shopping list, a list of goods sent home
from the Kyiv region
by a Russian soldier
to his wife. Coffee grinder,
microwave ovens, TVs,

in 17 parcels.
Total weight, 440 kg.

I’m sitting on the balcony,
drinking coffee in the sunlight
619 miles from V.

Google Maps makes taking the trip
seem a perfectly sane
and logical thing to do.

It would take me 13 hours and 21 minutes.

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Sarah Luczaj is the author of the poetry collection An Urgent Request (Fortunate Daughter Press, 2009) and the nonfiction books Creative Regeneration (Wayward Publications, 2019) and The Chi Book: Reiki from the Roots (Wayward Publications, 2020). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as The American Poetry Review and The New Statesman, and her translations (of Halina Poswiatowska, Yuri Andrukovych, Ida Sieciechowiz, Grazyna Wojcieszko and Robert Naczas) have been published in Poetry International, Modern Poetry in Translation, 3:AM Magazine, and elsewhere. A visual artist, psychotherapist, and Reiki master, she developed the Creative Regeneration process, which brings together meditation, focusing, freewriting, and intuitive painting, and cofounded the terrealuma healing refuge in Poland. She now lives in Glasgow. www.sluczaj.com. (updated 12/2022)

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