Mandelstam is Dead
Snow is falling on Moscow as if the Black Sea 
overcame the sky. Infernal thought-dreams 
of water becoming land. You pull apart the wrists
of your coat, stamping across the expanse 
of your new boiler-room kitchen. 
Nadya holds you still and sews them back together with curses, 
just like me, my friend, the fingerpricks 
of salvation in love. There are informers counting the cold
buildings by their bombastic stupor,
stupid Russia, stupid Slavs cowering together
over the blip of propane that illuminates the whole country 
with its smell. Take those indelible images 
out of your poems, dear siblings. The bitchpack 
loves to swallow those tithes, like schoolboys 
rushing to learn their Greek third-hand. 
Lovers of poetry emit the dead gaze 
that probes the city tracking some new kill.   

MICHAEL JULIANI is a poet, editor, and journalist from Pasadena, California. His work has appeared in outlets such as BOMB, Los Angeles Times, The Conversant, Truthdig, Blindfold, and the Huffington Post. The editor of three books by the filmmaker and photographer Harun Mehmedinovic, he earned a BA in Print & Digital Journalism from the University of Southern California and an MFA in poetry from Columbia University. He lives in New York City.
The Adirondack Review