Leo Yankevich Poems

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A sudden brightness. Call it day.
Rooks above the cathedral, and clouds

Ah, Love

Though many years have passed, and loves, I swear
I can still smell the soaps this one would use.
I can still see the mole on her left thigh,
black eden lace against her northern skin.

No Flowers, No Doves

When we entered the burning city
charred corpses greeted us.
A child’s hand dangled from a scorched tree
and the twisted wreckage of a bus


Perhaps there’s mercy in the skies,
although the Spaniards have seen none.
The tears of horror in their eyes
reflect the fury of the sun

A Hater Learns About Love

After a long night of interrogation,
followed by a thirty-minute trial,
there was no doubt about it: I was guilty.

Baroque Nativity Scene

Malachite of tower and dome,
clatter of sabots, creaks of wheels,
neighs of horses headed home
from a market where smoked eels


They come, come faithfully to behold him,
three kings and their harems after three nights
of fasting, coated in an afterlife
of sweet confection. But the star is dim


I felt it in her body loves ago.
Call it what you will: her psyche, soul,
essence, the ghost I never got to know
that haunts me down my later years. A fool,

Black Oak

At midnight, just beneath the sunken moon,
there is a glade, where leaf on fallen leaf
lie underneath her long and bony arms.
There, naked, she awaits her time to come.

A Plurality Of Worlds

Intensities of pain—
of those once persecuted
and those once executed.