Twenty-four Hours in Vladivostok

Michelle Matthees

It is tempting not to speak.

Rather, to breathe in cold catacombs

with eyes wide open.

I think I understand the way you hope.

In your mind, above, crisped spring:

white plum blossoms

icing up saplings. Belief is like this, getting

carried away by progress.

I cannot believe in history.

Still, the fisted buds flare

into wicks burning atop stone-

cold facades tipping deeper into silence.