I pray for Mandelstam hiding covered
with snow in a ditch. The Stalinists want to kill
him and finally succeed. I want him to escape
to Nebraska, please God. I pray for Lorca
that the assassin's guns won't work and he'll
escape like a heron flying west to the Mediterranean
then across the ocean to Michigan where he might
dislike the snow but at least he's alive.
He loved Cuba and Brazil for their music which
we don't have much of here. Please God, save him.
I even pray for Keats that he won't die
so young but get another thirty years or so
to write poems in Rome. He likes
sitting with my girlfriend on the Spanish
Steps. Can I trust him? Probably not
but I want more of his poems so I'll overlook
his behavior. And of course Caravaggio
the king of painters must live longer,
God. Why create a great painter
then let him die early?
Dead Man's Float
Copper Canyon Press