Stone Telling

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Domovoi, I Came Back!

by Sonya Taaffe

I left the night, the jazz, the paper circus
with its sawdust of madly loved lines, its ringleader
that boy who wore his suicide like a rose
stuck in his lapel, winking from the bottom of every glass.
We were so cold together, eating fire,
waiting for the world's wrists to run with ink.
Domovoi, all my poems are fatherless.
The mouth he kissed was a drowned infanticide's.

What do you write with in a stranger's bed?
I know these empty sheets, this backward-falling light,
this stove where my shaking fingers slowly warm.
And the poet who translates these words
to a city where the streetlights pulse with gin
instead of vodka, instead of brandy, wine,
will mistake you, domovoi, for a metaphor,
will mistake me for someone who could stay.

Poems and short stories by Sonya Taaffe have won the Rhysling Award, been shortlisted for the SLF Fountain Award and the Dwarf Stars Award, and been reprinted in The Yearís Best Fantasy and Horror, The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, The Best of Not One of Us, and Trochu divnť kusy 3. A selection of her work can be found in Postcards from the Province of Hyphens and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books). She holds masterís degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale and once named a Kuiper belt object.