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.