St. Petersburg

by Selena Wisnom

Romulus final_Page_05_Image_0002

Weighed down by the thousands of souls
that carried its ballast, the marble palace
balances by the Neva’s bank,
cold as an iris and as flecked with lightning,
buoyed up by the will of the hard-hearted mountain.

Each wall is a crest and I wander a wreck,
the stormings of the sea made stone
flowing into superfluous rooms filled
with statues in the arms of the waves,
dead-weight allegories, falsified novelties,
copies of copies of copies of copies
like all dream-images
fixing me here like a fly in amber.

Mosquitoes feed on my sleep like flies on a corpse
while I try to trap them with my slumber,
my resinous dream-catching blood
snatching their resonance out of the air,
repleting my metal-mined seams
and laying the tracks from my blood-catching dreams.
But I am a fly fixed in my amber.

Under the velvet veil of the Neva
the flash of my face is caught
in its weed-tangled hair
weighed down by heavy metals in the water,
buoyed up by the pull of the unsettled sun
in the white night that can’t close its eyes
to the drip-feed of after-death decadence.

Let us all sap it out of the trees
let us all sap it so we can be free
let us all cut what we cannot believe
once we all cut out it can’t be retrieved

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