After Bombardment, Sonya

by Ilya Kaminsky

I scrub and lather him like a salmon
until he spits
soapy water. "Pig" I smile—

This man smells better than his country
I throw his shoes
and glasses in the air,

take off his t-shirt and socks, and kneel
in honor of Sasha Petrov
who was amputated, in honor of Lesha Vatkii the taken.

I dip a glass in a bath-tub,
drink dirty water.
Soaping together—that

is sacred to me. Washing mouths together.
You can fuck
anyone—but with whom can you sit in water?

And the cuddling up
before sleep!—and back-scratching
in the morning. My back, not yours!

I knew I had caught the fish
and he knew he had been caught.
He sings as I dry his chest & penis

"Sonya, I was a glad man with you—"

Last updated April 03, 2023