My Life in Politics

Incapable of limiting themselves to petty
offenses, my hands broke into my chest and choked
every slumbering deity.
                                After that I no longer cared
to argue about the nature of the flesh. Whether powered by vitalist or
mechanical forces, the spirits had in either case evaporated
as easily as life from the nostrils of a drowned man.

                     Oddly, I did begin to care about numbers, but only in exchangeable forms.
“Bread,” I heard a man say once
           and it made me a depressive materialist, not
unlike a Franciscan without a dove. I collected frozen peas, greeting each one
like a lost friend, then dispersing them in green streams to the hungry mouths
in the surrounding counties.

                     At home I have an old painting to comfort me, a fine example
of Impressionism from the Eastern bloc circa 1981. In the subtle oranges
singeing the trees one sees the foreshadowing of martial law.

                     As a child sat in my Western living room and watched
                     the Molotov cocktails fly behind the Iron Drape. Back then no one thought
to explain to me how walls against the flight of capital might end in flames,
how on TV I was witnessing soldiers clip the wings of the very same paper birds
                                                                             that here flew all around me.

From The Tiniest Muzzle Sings Songs of Freedom. Copyright © 2019 by Magdalena Zurawski. Used with permission of the author and Wave Books.