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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…

oh banjola (goodnight 2017)

girlfriend experience

no words

the daughters of time

this must go

on refrigerators

every other man

Heaven is a place (where nothing ever happens)

trespasses

where are the lovely strawberries

Not me, her

no one wears white

this is Monday

a peaceful protest

the immigrant and the exile

an anniversary

the man on the ladder

a scream, a howl

no answer (the melon seller)

Breathing the right air

the forbidden zone

underfoot (rare air)

on vacation (see you next week)

approaching the unknown

coming clean

babel

small change (exceptions)

cold nostalgia

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