No Other Survivors

I sit by the emergency exit

at a neat desk

in the office with

neat plastic flowers.

 

Freshly baked people buzz

empty in black and white.

A typed frozen password on my screen: bonjours tristesse number eleven.

It keeps snowing in Russian.

 

A nest arrives.

Hollow roundness.

At my window, a kneeled motionless pigeon

is picking and picking at my praying crumbs.

No other survivors.

 

cimitero-monumentale-milano-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photography: @John Stadnicki, ‘Cimitero Monumentale’ 2016

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Short Love Letter

 

Dear local MP, a while ago I vividly remember

writing you a very short note to say ‘fuck it, I quit!’.

I licked the stamp and dropped the envelope

in the box number eighty four, school lane, first left,

by the traffic lights.

 

I ran back to my flat, unplugged the TV

and read ‘War and Peace’ under the duvet covers.

 

By the time I got to page seven hundred and twenty I’d realised

the war was not the most important thing in a man’s life.

I started to feel a bit sorry for myself

having nothing to be angry about anymore.

 

But now, coming to think of it, you gracefully got over the insult

and posted back a signed Christmas card.

It arrived in January but let’s not stop at details.

 

I kept at my book for over a month.

The French got stuck in Siberia,

the women mourned, the men went back home

as they did in those days.

 

And then a neat Valentine appeared

hand-delivered by a Romanian postman.

Your concern for my love life brings me to tears.

There is nothing worse than rejected love.

Peace Talk

image

A peace talk has taken place
today between me and these wounds; the treaty signed
on a scrap of blank paper
with a determination which lasted
for over thirty eight years.
Thirty eight long roads.
Ended quietly in a town with
almost no street lights and yet
I reluctantly said yes
for the sake of another last hour.

The Reality of Lines

I am the best like this
with nothing left
hanging
dried purple tulips
at each door handle.
With no audience
I face the blackness of each line
to learn what remains of reality.
The hope that all could be new
when everything is
already gone.

image

@Maria Stadnicka

About Skin

WESTGATE STREET 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(photo: John Stadnicki)

 

 

 

Here I watch the day.

The storm over. A memory on glasses, on broken shoes.

My shadow reflected

on the opposite wall

sits still.

Thought

 

to M. M.

 

Even without a language

I walk that way

marching towards the watery sun

with anger.

It never rains inside of an egg

so

I choose to deny

the sea born

in my rib cage

and go on

being allowed to hope.

chairPhoto: Maria Stadnicka

Fractal

At night I can only look at you
through a keyhole.
Sitting on one knee, on the floor,
I go on writing my thoughts
on pieces of cloth.
Locked in a motionless day
I keep busy
cutting my memory in perfect squares
to check how small
you became over the years.
I measure and trim
the infinite distance
between the rooms in my heart
with blunt scissors
and wish
we had more time or at least
we had more courage
or beauty.
But all we did in those days was sleep.
We were very good at keeping quiet
until the moment
silence, at last, settled in.

2015/01/img_3982.jpg Photo: John Stadnicki