—after Marina Tsvetaeva


Run from the smoke—island—city—home!
The first tears you shed on this highway
of terror—a cacophony of shots, 
batons and shields crashing into bodies
and screams—the first rupture of an unheard pulse.

Tear off your masks. Move along. Who knocks
you down the flashlight onto concrete, 
moving stills of broken wrists across the world’s
lens—What are you, braille scars blooming
into crevices of the spectator’s heart? 

Run from the smoke—sirens—barricades—home!
Run for the waters that will not put out this fire—


Is your march rained in for the midnight raid?
Is it true what we heard, that the tunnel is
on fire? Another cluster of umbrella dances—
cross harbor—and further east, to the lion rock,
another? How do you make the crossing where

there is no exit—with your eyes closed, at gun point?
Pepper-smeared slogans: freedom, discordance.
Where do we meet?—Our voices will meet
in lyrics trampled on the run, in the coalescence
of rain, neons and resolve across the streets, 

across the alleys, in the tear-shaped ribbons
pinned to our pulses, smoke-stained and whole. 


Published in Bellingham Review Issue 72 (Spring 2016)