With his ripe face like one of those pale freckled pears
you hold in your hand and his mind shuddering across it
like a bruise – he’s legible to all the world. With his great legs,
broad and strong as the trees, he walks in and out of chapters
smelling of eau de cologne, or an animal that sleeps in a barn.
With his long fingers running across the stubble on his jaw,
he listens to the black Russian rain before he picks up his pen.
With his eyes so blue you’d think he’d drunk the sky down
with all that champagne, he watches the soldiers (red epaulettes
and high boots) drag that boy to the place where they shoot him.
He watches the boy pull his loose coat tight before he sags and slides
down the post. And when it’s all over, he watches them roll him
gently into the hole with the others and before he can look away,
he sees, there in the earth, the boy’s shoulder still moving.
March / April 2017