Laura Bylenok

Elegy with Lies


Had I sighed the country would have lied
and would have flung itself upon its back

on giant rusted bedsprings, would have sung
its screechy lullaby and had I sighed

oh if I sighed the country would unpack
its bags and stay, strip off its stockings, slam

the door, and would have said snip out my tongue
before it laid its rooftops down and died—

if only I could say please lie, and split
the whisper stalking me, uncurled inside

my mouth: I want to hold the thing I am
divided by: a synapse and its infinite

trajectory—of absence, touch—a sigh
that tightrope walks my spine—so touch me, lie.