the interpreter

there are words that cannot be
translated and there are words
that probably would not be wise
to translate. either way, we are
dependent on the gut feeling
and goodwill of someone else,
an interpreter who can say,

a fellow who stakes his whole
life on one card – a woman’s
love – and when that card fails,
turns sour, and lets himself
go till he’s fit for nothing,
is not a man, but a male.

and everything seems fine
until you see the last line
in the original that reads
не мужчина, не самец,
and then you feel cheated
twice.

first because the translator
corrects the author, and then
because she might actually
be right.

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