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Liquid Epaulet


I'm a frequent flyer
    in my dreams, of his
mechanical
    birds, of his biplanes with veined, supple wings.
If wish-fulfillment,
    why on this earth wake up?
Last night, at dreaming altitude, I cropped
    up on his no-
fly list. His small hand, unfamiliar
    at first, wadded itself
over my mouth and nose, to suffocate, to insist
    I return
to his Leningrad, and play in the rubble.
    Hide-and.
He'd locked himself
    in what was left
of the bathroom on the second floor. The water
    pipes shorn
where the wall used to be.
    Look up, kiddo,
through the hole in the roof. Dream you're bronze, Lenin,
    toppled – your sticky hand
pointing skyward. This way to the future,
    wide open.