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Sleek & black writhed in the silent dust then rose
before us, turning, as it turned, into a horse,
the one from Andrei Rublev. We panned right
until we found the body of the little balloon man,
his hand-sewn balloons hissing as they collapsed.
The field of action, we could see, was broad & Russian,
endless gray fields combed with gray rivers, though
in black & white who could tell. It rained then didn't.
At the inn they said, “No room for romanticism,”
a failure of imagination. We pounded
on the door anyhow. Every village seemed
about to catch fire. Women readied their wailing.
A thatched roof caught. When the hoof-beats sounded,
we put sugar in our palms, stretched our arms.
Justin Sider's poetry and reviews have appeared in Southwest Review, 32 Poems, Bat City Review, Indiana Review, Colorado Review, MAKE, and other journals. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
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