It’s 4am — You write to me
from another land, another sea,
the city is waiting, your voice
upsets a structure of shadows.
The wind blows everything around,
I feel as though I return to being
a creature of flesh and blood.
It’s so hard to pull the soul away
from the body, like an ill-timed
offering — now words
stitch them back together
by a single thread. I think
I saw you through their fine lines
painting wisps in a red house,
a photograph upon my eyelid,
turning the winter pallor to amber.
It seems a fire lives in the lining
of our skin, after the destruction
of things, after the death of others,
a frailer but more persistent
flame burning upon the ruins.
It never tires and rises
like a lucent question,
somewhat unanswerable,
amazingly quiet. It’s 4am —
the words are gone or far,
I simply wish you were here
or I were drunk, or something
like — going to St. Petersburg.

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