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Yalta

Here comes the dark, the same dark
that night might have wound around
FDR at Yalta, his heart worn down
like a ’27 Ford. He shuffled, dragged
the dark in his legs, followed the limestone
marble of the moon across the Black Sea.
 
Who is to say the lunar eclipse this night
is not the blood-red glow of Dresden
smoldering or Churchill’s cigar or his face
burning when repeating again and again
The Spanish ships I cannot see for they
are not in sight
, ridding himself of his lisp.
 
And if the wind is not the ghosts of
Soviet millions still starving in their graves,
what does the night tell us of Stalin’s
withered arm, his club foot aching. I open
history books fanned on the floor, hear
syllables of the dead, their stiff tongues asking.
 
 
 

John Davis is the author of Gigs (Sol Books) and The Reservist (Pudding House Press.) His work has appeared recently in Cider Press Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, The North American Review and Rio Grande Review. He teaches high school and performs in several rock and roll bands.