By on Mar 27, 2016 in Poems | 0 comments

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He says that the universe is very wide, very

large, as large as Lake Michigan on a rainy day

and he wishes his hands were large enough

to hold it while he watches opera

in an Italian suit and a maroon and beige tie.

He wishes that his eyes were large enough

to take in the smell of violets

but will settle for the taste of small white candies

with the flavor of them written in Roman letters

and carried in a tin in his not so very large pocket.

He wishes that his ears were large enough

to take in the sound of a hundred white Russian winters,

that his wallet was also large enough

to hold enough money to buy a house there and that his

memory were deep enough to hold every moment

that he has had in a glass with rounded edges

hand blown in Italy

because when he dies he knows he will move towards

the light and nothing else

and that the universe is very large

thought his eyes aren’t

and in Los Angeles it is very hard to see the stars but

sometimes it rains


and there is the smell of jasmine and other

night-blooming flowers with names

unknown to him and when he comes home sometimes

he swears he can see them

though they are invisible

and they are like a lake of stars

he keeps hidden under his tongue

that no one else can see and

it is like Russia, so far away he wants to talk about it

but he remembers he is

a stranger to himself again, longing

to peel away the bark of his old self to become

something new. His pockets, though not

very large compared to the universe or his

phone bill since he has returned from traveling

grow very heavy with the moonstones and the stars

and the memories he translates these to as they glow

in the quiet dark like perfectly formed letters

in the subtitle to a perfect foreign film.


It moves him.

Like that poem by Pushkin.

Like that day she wiped the rain from his eyes and smiled.


What he wants

to retain

is the light

around her face.

What he knows

is that it is actually

the moon

reflecting light

that is not its own

and filters





many light years away.


When he dreams he dreams in fragments.


When he sees himself in the mirror

he only sees what is easiest to see.


When he speaks he speaks in Russian, in a quilt

of memories and when he sees a woman

standing on a street corner holding a

cigarette thinking or waiting he sees

his mother/his neighbor/no his last lover

with a chip of light in her eye that is so

becoming and he is on a train

a train to remembering what a dream is what a

postage stamp from New Zealand is what romance

is what a wet September days is what a good book

in the morning is what being alone is what

having an itch is what flavor or color his

past is her smell her taste an old, old country.

New to him. One he will never forget.


When he dreams he dreams in fragments.


foggy ocean portrait


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