The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Roxana Cazan

          Sibiu, December 1989
His revolution wasn't soft-spoken, a smooth surface,
Crude and shy like a velvet Coup d'Etat,
Like some popping of balloons at de-coronation.
                             His was physical, those
Veins across temples whose pounding
He felt in the back of his throat;
The rush of blood spreading through
His fisted fingers like vermin
When the bolt of the rifle touched his cheek
Cold like a sweaty palm.
That winter, his breath got thicker.
He had felt it coming in the kitchen,
With everyone around the table.
He had felt that hunger strike coming
When the potatoes went bad, when they stopped
The hot water, and then the cold.
      His revolution had been wanting
To rage like a lion fallen in the trap meant for tigers,
Like a firing infantry of workers,
Of street sweepers and deserters,
Wearing their vests, their rubber boots,
Holding pitchforks, dragging children by their hands
Or just gasping for mouthfuls of curses.

When he came home, he looked older,
His cheek looked older,
With a slight shadow of a rifle
Pointed towards his eye.

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