Click here to listen to Ellen Wehle read this poem.
He for whom we set an extra place at table.
On the eve of bombardment
Rumors fly: Stalin himself, come to rescue his city.
How terrible our thirst, how patient,
Excalibur at lake-bottom. In Rome, a coroner
Clicks off the mic as weeping
Gangsters crowd the room, hound-like, licking their master’s
Incisions. Whom we await. His field of force. Christ
Else says, Sandbagging like any soldier, down by the docks.