Monday, August 14, 2017

Sara Tantlinger


26 Shabolovka Street
patrons arrive, waiting
not knowing my changed name
and the Red Army I left behind
but I carry rubies in my head
red, red, always red

customer wants to buy a horse,
wants to get to know me
lonely eyes easy to find
in these days of newly approved
private enterprise

the vodka is rarely refused
but always ready and offered freely
except for the price of rubies in my head,
my hammer raining down
their throats slit
red, red, always red

the swollen beetle-black
bags of corpses float down the river
and I am called the Wolf of Moscow
but Sophia doesn’t mind the howling—
my dear wife, my little helping sheep
does not have lonely eyes
but she is still easy to find
handing me the hammer
understanding crimson needs

understanding that murder
is an awfully easy job,
but the pattern bleeds out
and the wolf leaves prints
in the dirt for two years
no more private enterprise

and the last of lonely eyes
is the last time this wolf sees Moscow
sees Sophia next to me
the firing squad all lined up
waiting to complete
an awfully easy job
red, red, always red

Gerald So reads "The Wolf of Moscow":

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Sara confesses: "I was reading so-called last phrases by serial killers (for research purposes, of course), and Vasili Komaroff’s was that he described murder as 'an awfully easy job.' That, along with him being known as “The Wolf of Moscow,” inspired the poem. I couldn’t resist borrowing those bloody details!"

SARA TANTLINGER resides outside of Pittsburgh on a hill in the woods. She is the author of Love For Slaughter and has published pieces with Page & Spine, The Literary Hatchet, and the HWA Poetry Showcase Volume II. Find her on Twitter @SaraJane524.

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