Leialoha Apo Perkins


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1998. Hawai'i Award for Literature. (Hawai'i State Foundation for Culture and the Arts and the Hawai'i Literary Arts Council) . more »

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Best Poem of Leialoha Apo Perkins

When Akhmatova Met Mikhail Bulgakov, Under Condemnation

He knew. A summons glues all. The air sucks itself dry,
then dies. There’s little time to write a note:
“To the country for the day -Don’t wait.'

A summon unsticks too. Relatives, friends, foes stand back.
He said “Let’s walk.” To the river. His wife’s hair
burnished iodine gold in the sun that morning.
His infant son kicked the irreverent air.
It was cold, cold out.
A summons arches like a scimitar.
He said nothing about the Commissar’s note.

Everyone knew. The Bureau smells – that old, familiar fear.
An odor permeates – the newspaper, the ...

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