Welcome to the deconstruction of days, and worlds, and words; to an infinite babble of images, trauma, sounds, wishes; to assumptions implicit in forms of expression; flashbacks pandering to memory. Here is a flower (ibolya, kwiat, cvet, gul, blume), a violet handed to you by the sad professor whose brother is dying of cancer; who smoked (both smoked) through a cold war on the other side of the iron curtain which parted only briefly, which now is closing again against the light on its last breath in a hospital bed on the top floor of a building as blank and grim as the Stalinist flats at the edge of the city on a Sunday afternoon. The architects were dutiful: from above, the block of the buildings spells out four letters, CCCP, the Cyrillic and Latin paired for once in a perfect chechotka mambo without the need for transliteration. Soyuz Sovetskih Sosalistichiskih Republic. Can you hear the sibilant hiss, not unlike an assassin’s whisper? The aspirated plosives of p and b in the word Republic, which, discharged from English lips, becomes a plausible weapon. We the people and what it assumes: the limbo we dance under a bar which is lowered and lowered again; an abode for the souls who were born before the coming of Christ, for those who were never baptized, for those who were never born and thus could never make a wish by candle or star or tossed coin or by holding the longest end of a broken bone, the one bone made for wishing.

 

Amy Jo Minett

Amy Jo Minett has been involved in extensive international language projects for many years throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, and Central/Eastern/Southeastern Europe. She is also a professor of English at the Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts (USA), where she teaches English and Graduate TESOL courses. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from the University of Virginia. Her works have been previously published in Poetry East, Poetry Northwest, The Jacaranda Review, and The Wisconsin Academy Review.

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