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that smell (Moscow)

The old elevator rattles and the doors lurch open. Inside our apartment I somehow feel taller. There is a smell of formaldehyde, like cutting those frogs open in tenth grade Biology class. The rooms feel dead, not like a tender museum of our things but empty, as if the only life in these rooms is born from us and in our absence they simply did not exist. I yank the door to the balcony open, thinking that smell will go away but it lingers deep in the pillows on the couch and the drapes. Sour, sad and chemical.

I think of random conversations I had in Ureki, mostly with taxi drivers who asked where I was from. I spoke to them in broken Russian, and they all said the same thing - Moscow, a cold place with cold people. Nothing seems to happen here, or change here. Sure, there may be a new sidewalk, a new supermarket, a fresh coat of paint on a crooked fence but the sense that this entire place is dead as well, a sort of sprawling, residential graveyard is hard to shake off. There is a sl…

make you feel my love

Moscow in winter

work sets you free

coney island baby (licorice and Hershey bars)

Brooklyn Bridge (eggs and sausage)

an early Sunday morning

white riot

after the shoot

the ocean

combat boots and red socks

not even a whisper

the playground

orphans and old bones

that good tired

Their dogs must be barking

the road to the parade

not yet

Ouroboros

late summer

faces (a flood)

the reward for silence (a different person)

a series of surprises

the ocean waits

miniatures (a storm)

the hardest thing

the faucet (drawing a line in the sand is not as easy as I thought it would be)

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