Yuliia Vereta

Imperial Crimson
October 24, 2022 Vereta Yuliia

Imperial Crimson


There is no way I can write ‘producing meanings’ as my job in the CV,
Although this is the only thing I am actually pretty good at, to be frank.
It’s underpaid and at times even useless, but there is nothing else that
Can save the mightiest drown in the darkest gloom, with no way out.
I only produce those for my country and several others surrounding it.
They could be fed enough if they ate anything but the staple buckwheat.
This thing is an extremely thankless task. It never paid off and it never will.
Meanings are hard to eat. They are tasteless and glandular, even splintery.
The raw ones irritate the mucous membranes of decent people, making
Those fill ashtrays, buy cheapest shares, lay desperately under droppers.
My friend in thought says that it was much better a hundred years ago,
When people kneaded the swamp on the dirt roads with their bare feet
And merchants let grains and cereals into the buyers’ hats and pockets.
Meanwhile Father Lenin got decomposed into the fine dust of the end
Of the epoch and the white bird droppings that adorn his monuments.
Perestroika never ended, they keep rebuilding state with every draft law.
The truth is only fed to chickens, crowds are fed with promises; their flesh
Is torn with false freedom. The bullets will always find the right culprits.
People will die, and the world will watch; the time will pass, and it will go on.
None of the devices will open inconvenient links with the word being free
Only as long as it is not paid for, as long as it is not on the TV or in print.
Turn on the radio, prepare the colander, hold it above your head until
Your forearm is numb; keep listening, being a brick in the construction.
Throw your keys, phone and a head into the plastic box. They will gently
Scan those for the safety of the country. It is unlikely to have it sewed back.
Hands search for the nape above the stump of the neck. It’s not to be found.
The only good thing is a discount for the casket; it’s cheaper for decapitated.
Beheaded, therefore silent people are waiting for tsarism, called democracy
On paper to crumble into pieces and fertilize the earth like gray ash, changing
The body of the previous Vladimir to the current one in that blood-red square.

Yuliia Vereta is a writer from Ukraine, whose other works were published in print and online in Litro Magazine (UK), Genre: urban arts (USA), Penultimate Peanut Magazine (USA), the Valley Voices (USA) and the McGuffin (USA). I received the 2018 City of Rockingham Short Story Award (Australia) and became the finalist in Poetry Matters Project (USA) as well as Hessler Poetry Contest (USA).