Bill Rush: ‘Sophia Tolstoy’ and ‘Unicorn’

Sophia Tolstoy

Our bodies are long barges of silence.
We leave notes for each other in the hall.

I ask: who bore our thirteen children?
Who turned your endless scribbles into fair copy?

Who has endured your perpetual fads,
your crazy religiosity, and now—celibacy!

You really enjoy the doffed caps when
you stride in the fields, dressed as a peasant.

You are a male version of your fictional Anna,
with no respect for the one you were pledged to love.

There are times, God forgive me,
when I wish you would be like her

and jump under a train.

Bill Rush



I think I understand why you left for somewhere else.

You’d had enough of us, the unbeautiful,

the drained of grace.

Grazing beyond woodland,

you live now in a greener myth of hooves and horn,

able to make the poisoned waters pure

and heal infirmities.

This windless night,

as earth purples to splintered shadow,

I strain to catch your sweet lowing.

Bill Rush



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