Monday, February 3, 2014

Elizabeth Lash


I, Sasha,

Am in the bar finding traces of love in my veins,
and I am warm, falling...
recalling shot after shot—sounds of Russian drinking songs ring in my head.

Waking, I found nurses in squeaky soled shoes who surrounded me,
injecting shot after shot to keep the poison at bay.
It was not traces of love I found in my veins...
but traces of death in my soul.

They say you'll know when they come,
but they came silently, in the guise of brotherhood.
I thought a few drinks at a bar would harm no one.
I was no longer a traitor—let bygones be bygones.
Drink and forget what could poison the evening.

Well, this was how the Bureau always said its good-byes. I'm not surprised in the end.
Good-bye wife. Good-bye, comrades.
Farewell my love—
my jealous mother Russia.

And with a sigh,

I give up the fight.

Gerald So reads "In Memoriam: Ex-KGB Agent Complains...":

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Elizabeth confesses: "Having come back from Russia a year before, I'd seen the machinations of its allegedly democratic party at work and was shocked, but in some way not surprised by news of Alexander Litvinenko's untimely demise. If you are part of the political elite, and you abide by their rules, you remain safe; conversely, if you choose to speak out, you have only yourself to blame. While Russians like to think that they are in a brave new world, they are still operating in some fashion in their old one. So for a former KGB agent to be poisoned by his colleagues for leaving the country with its secrets? It made perfect sense, at least to me. "

ELIZABETH LASH is an attorney who, although she primarily drafts legal documents, equally enjoys writing on a broad range of topics. Her articles have been published in a variety of media: the Holy Cross Journal of Law and Public Policy, Transparency International, the Engineering News-Record, and Get, among others.

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