He lights a cigarette.
Typewriter stares. Words lounge inside,
like aristocrats in a pool, undaunted, unaware of
struggle and hardship and hunger; they linger.
Memories light up like when a train hits the tracks,
little sparks against the metal, small marks
of ink against the page.
The movements are violent
like a waltz before Russian Roulette.
Final steps set in stone on marble floors
in a castle in the tundra under God, in desperation.
It’s like the droplets
of rain against the window;
Fingers fumble over each other
like the aristocrats screaming
“God damn it! Let us out of here!”
Tumbling over each other to get to the door
when the Tzar’s castle starts burning.
Smoke billows from his mouth
like it does from the castle ruins.
And the peasant throws her husband
to their bed. The king is dead,
long live the king.
They celebrate because they are alike.
In flesh, in sinew, in longing.
Like fire flashes in the beds of lovers.
They fold together and smolder.
Type hammer strikes the page.
He extinguishes the cigarette;
it sleeps with its ash.