The Battleground for Leningrad Begins

By JONATHAN FINK

 

From Barbarossa: The German Invasion of
the Soviet Union and the Siege of Leningrad

The first sign of arrival fills the air
when smoke appears, dark red, like iodine
poured into ethanol, a helix, thick
and turning. What the burning marks is time—
the seasons, warehouses of food consumed
entirely as two women pause and stare.
They’ve just come from the theater. One folds
a shawl into her pocketbook, her bare
arms pink, still tender from a sunburn. Do
they recognize the change when it begins—
the first turn of the carriage wheel; the bloom
of anger in the chest; the sound, the click
an oar makes sliding in its lock? Or would
it come unseen, a face beneath a hood?

 

Jonathan Fink is an associate professor and the director of creative writing at the University of West Florida. Dzanc Books recently published his poetry book, The Crossing, and he has also received the Editors’ Prize in Poetry from The Missouri Review; the McGinnis-Ritchie Award for Nonfiction, Essay, from the Southwest Review; and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and Emory University, among other institutions. 

[Purchase your copy of Issue 10 here.]

The Battleground for Leningrad Begins

Related Posts

Gabriella Fee

June 2022 Poetry Feature: Gabriella Fee

GABRIELLA FEE
Death springs from me like a hothouse flower. / My mother swaddles me in terrycloth / and vigils me for three days in her bed. / Pillbox. Rice and lentils. Kettle. Psalm. / She dims the lights as though I were a moth. / She combs my hair.

Image of Zhang Qiaohui and Yilin Wang's headshots.

Translation: “Soliloquy” by Zhang Qiaohui

ZHANG QIAOHUI
You know where Grandma is buried, but do not know / where Grandma’s Grandma is / Jiaochang Hill’s graves have long been displaced, now covered with lush greenery / In the mortal world, a saying, “to have no resting place even after death” / I stand at the old burial ground.

Tree

May 2022 Poetry Feature

By ELIZABETH METZGER
For now, let us choose not to remember / who said History repeats as Tragedy then Farce, / and who else / repeated such nonsense / with variations because, friends, allow me / to be pedantic, just this moment. History repeats / as Tragedy more than once.