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Oksana and Ruslana, Ukrainian girls playing in the streets of Lwów: dolls and sticks and rope. Sunup-sunset, never a cloud in the sky, even when it rains. Always tying and buckling one another’s shoes. When they fall or get scraped, they kiss one another’s bruises, broken skin. Sticky lips and fingers swapping sweets: one girl, the other. 

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Ed Pavlić has authored more than a dozen books written across and between genres, most recently: Call It in the Air: Poems (Milkweed, 2022); Outward: Adrienne Rich’s Expanding Solitudes (Minnesota UP, 2021); Another Kind of Madness: A Novel (Milkweed, 2019); and Who Can Afford to Improvise?: James Baldwin and Black Music, the Lyric and the Listeners (Fordham, 2015).

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