Here, where I’m dying, in a white 
                                                 house by a blue harbor.
                                                        —Maxim Bakhdanovich

Come in, Maxim!... This is Minsk
choked under a pillow of clouds.
There’s you: a statue in a heavy coat.
Here all monuments wear coats
not wool, but linden bark coats
with bee fur collars.
In their pockets monuments keep belts.
And under collars monuments have necks.
In winter shadows insulate the walls.
Windows and cracks are plucked with shadows.
In museums on display are coats
and nooses. And water is pickle-juice.
Come in, Maxim, apartment blocks
are wrapped in ammunition staircases,
and window-medals sparkle through the night.
Every building here is a kind of bust,
an elevator ascends like vomit.
Of furniture there is a stump.
Come in, Maxim,
it’s nothing like lie dying by a harbor.
Take a sit on a stump.
Don’t cast a shadow.
Keep the coat on.

Copyright © 2018 by Valzhyna Mort. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 7, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.