Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


After Bombardment, Sonya

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—"

Credit


Copyright © 2011 by Ilya Kaminsky. Used with permission of the author.

Author


Ilya Kaminsky

Born in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1977, Ilya Kaminsky is the author of Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press, 2019).

Date Published: 2011-09-23

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/after-bombardment-sonya