Forbidden Words

Forbidden words crackle
like brittle snow on your tongue.
You stand at the border of Camp
Perm 36.
clothed in fog.
High above the river.
I wait for an opening in the
road:

a way for you to escape,
hunger restored to your cheeks.
flesh to your broken hands.
They have worked you to the
bone,
worked you into silence.
Yellow lights search the water
for dreams of a dead
poet.

They announce your death by
suicide,
but who will believe them?
Like the moon in day-light,
you hide behind an angel's
wing.

L.M. Jendrzejczyk was on the national staff of Amnesty International USA in New York City at the time this poem appeared. He wrote this poem for Yury Lytvyn, a Ukrainian poet who was imprisoned and died in a labor camp.

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