Raisa Tolchinsky

Been waiting for this headless coachman
to save me from the cold.
I give myself over to pain that smells of papercranes that burn in flight.
It’s a summer field with no place to run slow over water as you close your eyes and smile past
where you used to live.
This time you aren’t afraid to lock your doors and cover the windows
with wax paper.
When everything is spitting flames, you fall how timber
does in the dining room at home, the way Dad would throw a log onto flames
as if they were nothing
sparks shooting into my lap.
Ashes would never fall, but appear silent as cats across a balance beam
days later.
I feel your whispers following me, and you were braver than Joan of Arc that night, carrying
secrets of the king.
I can barely feel my lungs contract but you catch my light in your hands, and
sprinkle it across the sky
so I know what to follow.
Hands that felt lighter than mercury but just as strong, pull me down
and all we are now is empty space and electrons colliding.

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