After Years in America

I return to St. Petersburg to meet Svidrigailov
In his room inside Crime & Punishment
Two hours before he places the revolver
To his right temple & pulls the trigger
After telling a stranger in a gray soldier’s coat
             that …


They told us we needed to evacuate. To pack sandwiches, light valuables,
our important papers, and that we’d be back in three or four days.

By 3:00 p.m. the doddering bus, displaced with passengers
riled by nausea, urged the driver …

A Girl

After her eyes were eaten out of their sockets and the old women sewed them shut with silver thread, they kept blinking. Not opening, just twitching up and down. Nobody could tell why. Whether it was just a reflex or—some …



Days chorus.
Sonia knows this
in the way she describes
breakfast, the dead
routine of minutes lit
by how quickly a room
of kindergarteners can eat.
The dream is sated
so how to return?
We check sandstone
on a …

Beach Winter

His name is loose. A choir
of seagulls aims to understand it,
but of course, that’s not
going to happen. Especially not when
they can notice a television through
the window. One avoids
the word “comfy” if he can.
Immense …

Old Piano

It took everything to move it in.
Sideways, on a wheeled cart,
dead-now Steve holding the thing
steady while I carried it, pulled it in
     the corner myself.

My mother was proud—one
broken leg, out of tune.
No one knew …

What Adam Knew

Back in Texas, August, I’d lie on the lawn
topless. The neighbors didn’t know me
from Adam. Nor the landlord, nor the old man
stealing peaches, stuffing them into a brown paper bag
and sneaking off down the street like …