Sep 15, 2009

Eastern Bloc

Written by Jehanne Dubrow

Read by Rachel Mallino

The stores ran out of butter every day.
So you ran out, escaped your parents’ house,

the crystal vases and the crystal bowls
of caviar. You were crystal too,

but hollow and ringing to the finger’s touch.
Around the corner, you heard a Polonaise

pushed from the lungs of some winded instrument.
The sky was soot, or else beet soup. So sour

you bought the one limp pastry at the bakery,
your mouth stuck shut with rose petal jam.

You dreamed of warmth though you were always cold.
You dreamed of fleeing west, of white cites

where the word for hunger had ten synonyms,
and desire was a shopping cart to wheel

across the concrete floor. And everything
was an open hand wanting to be filled.