Victory (1917)

By | 1 October 2020

what did the sun feel like
that armed October day

– did your dried skin
breathe between Nevskiy and Liteyny?

did your hair stand on ending when you saw
in those new men a light refracted full
a future danced into a falling web

– and did you really point your arm like that?
did spasm take you as you cleared the gate?

what dust swarmed in your eye when you first felt
the mechanism of time change form and shape?

and did the body now grown ethyl-thick
run through with an imagination of the motion
spilling to causes from its tongue and hands –

my great-grandmother’s ladle swimming
into the wheat and flesh inside her son

her daughter a distended limb, my father
paused to speak between the eared walls, us all
turning away from faces in the street

knowing to look would mean to trust
and trust belongs
to some imagined country that’s not here

– perhaps the same one that you saw,
when your gaze tore its teeth on autumn sky

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