O Mayakovsky

O Mayakovsky, dead for eighty years now,
      what knowledge nestled in that line
             between your brows?
Pasternak says that even in death you were
       sulking, having lost your solitary game
             of Russian roulette, the bullet
victorious in your body, surrounded by your
       stopped heart, your one stopped heart.
             Every night, Mayakovsky, I place
The Cloud in Trousers against my own chest,
       and wait for it to fire. It hasn’t just yet.
             I can’t wait to meet you, sullen
poet; let’s gossip about Esenin, who wrote his
      suicide note in his own blood, let’s talk
            about how hard it is to live,
                  let’s talk about how we tried,
                        how we tried.

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