The Trouble Over

16/6 for the separation allowance—

3/3 for the personalization of the headstone.

The star came free, courtesy of the Pale

and Pound’s Stepney, East.

Your blood ran from the Tsar’s army

to fight the Kaiser’s,

your April Fool’s death added rimshot

to the war’s punch line.

Sharp-faced, soft-mouthed Rosenberg in your pink ties,

you painted yourself insolent, photographed shy.

You never knew the worth of anything but your own words.

You cast a bantam’s shadow,

centuries long.


Sonya Taaffe

Sonya Taaffe reads dead languages and tells living stories. Her short fiction and poetry have been collected most recently in As the Tide Came Flowing in (Nekyia Press) and previously in Singing Innocence and Experience, Postcards from the Province of Hyphens, A Mayse-Bikhl, Ghost Signs, and the Lambda-nominated Forget the Sleepless Shores. She lives with one of her husbands and both of her cats in Somerville, Massachusetts, where she writes about film for Patreon and remains proud of naming a Kuiper belt object.

Photo Credit: Rob Noyes

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