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,
© 2020 Sonya Taaffe
Sonya Taaffe reads dead languages and tells living stories. Her short fiction and poetry have been collected most recently in the Lambda-nominated Forget the Sleepless Shores and previously in Singing Innocence and Experience, Postcards from the Province of Hyphens, A Mayse-Bikhl, and Ghost Signs; her chapbook As the Tide Came Flowing In is forthcoming from Nekyia Press. She lives with her husband and two cats in Somerville, Massachusetts, where she writes about film for Patreon and remains proud of naming a Kuiper belt object.
Photo Credit: Rob Noyes