Aleksandr

he was wounded
fleeing Warsaw
and the strafing
bombers ahead
the wing of aeroplane
or whirring of violent
propeller worse than
the bombs and the
screaming of simple
villagers learning Lucifer had found his wings.

that was not him but grandfather

tho' when younger he cut his jaw
on a mountain but the snow stopped
his bleeding. there is a scar there
and since he looks at a
gray world thru'
gray eyes the color
of grandfather's gun and---

someone whispered once
outside of Hamburg he was
lovely in the bombed ruins of
a basement but he ran and
the moon was something
on his shoulder the war had
been over a long time.

he did not follow Walesa
nor did the collapse of communism
let his
gray fade to pastel
his eyes stayed and his
hair reflected in its black
the mountains still where he
had fallen as a boy.

now he will not return to Germany.

even the sea is hurting
the salt against the cut on
his jaw where the muscles of
his tense anger with himself
at the world illuminate in
the small movements of his face.

he says little and drinks heavy
wine at midnight when the Russian
soldiers used to come and remind him
that he would not be free.
he is rueful when he is anything
and never drunk.

There is some-body in Hamburg he is fearful of
and the mountains close round ringing like some-thing in the Pacific.
He went to the shipyards once.
Ghosts clung to his
gray suit like broken parts of the
gray sky in winter
when as a child he fell
and bled on the snowy mountains