Sunday, September 02, 2007

Today I started feeling better. I had moments of feeling well, in between the three hours naps. I think my fever is mostly gone.

Here's a poem:

Breath in Russian Is


we had practiced every kind of sadness for so long
that the Russians were glad
to see us off at the bus station, though we
had brought tampons and promised
to mail their letters

I smuggled flags and small books
in my underwear but the border guards
in their indifference
didn’t even check my backpack

you slept all the way
back to Finland
rubles tucked in your socks
your breath making faint clouds
on the window glass
that disappeared, appeared
like the slow beat of a failing heart

4 comments:

Talia said...

Are the tampons a symbol for something? I ask because I don't like it...but maybe that's your point.

Glad you feel better.

Christine said...

Oh, there were no tampons in Russia for a very long time and the women were dying (not literally) for them, so they were very big on the black market.

Brooke said...

Nice job. How political did you intend for it to be? I really like all the tucked away things in the poem. Sorry you don't feel well...will pictures of kitties help? (Check my blog)

Christine said...

Brooke -- I was thinking of you this week as my class was starting -- oh, Brooke had to do this -- also one of my students is from the Carolina's. Uh, I was trying to evoke the Soviet Russia of the early 80's with all the smuggling details, but I suppose I wasn't thinking of anything overtly public. This is one of my few poems that's really based in fact.