Saltivka, Kharkiv. Photo by Nina Kossman
Olena Maksakowa. Two Poems.


– Master

I brought you


broken childhood

Your ad says


fix everything

– I can’t fix

your childhood

was bombed

it can’t

be fixed

is it

so important to you?

see the expiration date

it expired

a long time ago

– Master

then fix

my city

my university




and people



– I can’t

you embarrass me

by asking for the impossible

anything can be repaired

but not everything

can be fixed

go away

– Master

in a house

of my friend

in my friend’s burned down


his cat died

fix the cat

can you do this at least

is it possible?

– Nothing

can be fixed


brought back




or you
~ ~ ~
Old age is no volk*

it won’t die, won’t run away

get yourself botoxed

drink shark oil

champagne a caviar mask

beat it into your face with someone else’s fist


Who are you with?

Who are you talking about?

Old age is not real

It’s just a malaise

There’s spirulina

Microcrystalline cellulose

Alpha-lipoic acid

Hyaluronic thread

Crawl with it through the eye of a needle

Pull yourself through

There’s no such thing as old age

There’s war

There’s love

There’s death
– – –
*volk – волк, Rus. for ‘wolf’


About the Author:

maksakova photo
Olena Maksakowa
Frankfurt, Germany

Olena (Alyona, Milena) Maksakowa was born in Kharkov. She studied History of Russian Literature at KSU. Her writing was published in various publications, including Articulation, ROAR, Harpy Hybrid Review, Golden Fleece, etc. She is a co-organizer of the festival Hanover Spring and of Heavenly Kharkiv, a Zoom project. She is an editor of the anti-war website Tochka.Zreniya and the author of Little Diary. She has lived in Germany since 2002.

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