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

textured sand

January 2022 Poetry Feature

MADELEINE MORI
A. and I were both hurt by that cold, hard change, / the snap of my leg bones. / I saw the root in the trail as a swag-bellied dog / with a cape I wanted to support— / both dog and sneaker flying as one. / When they came, Search and Rescue’s tools unbent my pain.

headshot of Elvira Hernandez

Translation: Poems by Elvira Hernández

ELVIRA HERNÁNDEZ
nowhere / anywhere / would poets meet dressed as beacons / if their mirrors were not fogged / if their mirrors were not fogged / they would have seen the mandorla set sail / perhaps at this hour they are filing claims /to recover their lost luggage / agreed: that’s not the teide

blackbird upon a puddle

Translation: Poetry by Esther Ramón

ESTHER RAMÓN
Two of those brief animals / that populated the branches / and the furniture made useless / by humidity and neglect. / They were separated / From time that burns as it passes, / from this insignificance, / from the feeding cycle, / my desires in the shredded remains