Emma Goldman Falls in Love (with Tolstoy) at the End of the World

 

8888888888888888If there won’t be dancing at the revolution I’m not coming—E.G.

88888888888888888888888888888888Such chances arise, and they alter and direct a                                                                 8888888888888888888888888888888888888888man’s whole life—L.T. “After the Dance”

 

Yes, he is a pacifist, but does he believe

88888888in dancing? I don’t know

88888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888if I could love a man

8888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888opposed to both war and dancing.

Would I choose a man, like my other

88888888men with their hands on the trigger,

88888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888bracing themselves for the end of the line

888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888dance, over this man

with empty hands with open

8888888888888888hands? Not a word

88888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888to say about dancing, except that once

888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888while drunk, he watched a soldier

beat a man to death. With nothing

88888888but his hands. And he still remembers

88888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888how the flies circled the body. The mass

8888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888of blood, after the dance.

 

***

 

Abigail Carl-Klassen’s work has appeared in Cimarron Review, Guernica, Post Road and Huizache, among others and is anthologized inNew Border Voices, Goodbye Mexico and Outrage: A Protest Anthology for Injustice in a 9/11 World. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2014 and Best New Poets 2015.

 

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