I scrub and lather him like a salmon until he spits soapy water. "Pig" I smile— This man smells better than his country I throw his shoes and glasses in the air, take off his t-shirt and socks, and kneel in honor of Sasha Petrov who was amputated, in honor of Lesha Vatkii the taken. I dip a glass in a bath-tub, drink dirty water. Soaping together—that is sacred to me. Washing mouths together. You can fuck anyone—but with whom can you sit in water? And the cuddling up before sleep!—and back-scratching in the morning. My back, not yours! I knew I had caught the fish and he knew he had been caught. He sings as I dry his chest & penis "Sonya, I was a glad man with you—"
Town Watches Them Take Alfonso
Now each of us is
a witness stand:
Vasenka watches us watch four soldiers throw Alfonso Barabinski on the sidewalk.
We let them take him, all of us cowards.
What we don’t say
we carry in our suitcases, coat pockets, our nostrils.
Across the street they wash him with fire hoses. First he screams,
then he stops.
So much sunlight—
a t-shirt falls off a clothes line and an old man stops, picks it up, presses it to his face.
Neighbors line up to watch him thrown on a sidewalk like a vaudeville act: Ta Da.
In so much sunlight—
how each of us
is a witness stand:
They take Alfonso
And no one stands up. Our silence stands up for us.