Dreamers By Helena Santic Isakov; translated with Charles Elffers

Samaritans used to prepare

the neck of the youngest virgin

for love,

creasing it with

three layers of oils,

and waiting for the appearance

of the new moon

when a chosen man

would arrive to take her.

Colidians covered the pubescent

youths chest with straw,

orating words of

encouragement and praise

for all the participants

who had not yet been

seen by any women.

Dreamarians were rinsing  the mouths

of the prematurely speaking children,

with water from a bog,

cleaning with a soft fawn’s brush,

believing that their

wishes would come true

and those who’s mouths were clean

would become orators

and their children

would get the name

of some other nation,

far away from the abusive

Dreamarians.

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