Slugs were all they could talk about
on Austrian television when the barbed
wire snapped between Hungary and Germany
and nobody noticed, including me, immersed
in baseball and Grandpa dying. Now we know
this wire was restrung, of course, a pre-meme
gleam in the eyes of extremists, for
plyers-led eighties-bred head-of-state selfies.
Last spring that film on Gorbachev quietly nudged
me to tears. Last spring I rushed through Battery Park
with no clue where to turn, of whether the movie would be
bad or good or the last one I’d see in an April.
I miss April. I miss Gorbachev. I miss rushing through
streets swarming with strangers. All we can talk about
now is how empty the hours are, how shallow each day
that pools below our eyes when we share the sun with no one.
Eileen G’Sell is a poet and culture critic with recent contributions to Fence, The Hopkins Review, Current Affairs, Hyperallergic, Reverse Shot, and other outlets. Her first full-length volume of poetry, Life After Rugby, was published in 2018 by Gold Wake Press, and in 2019 she was nominated for the national Rabkin Foundation award in arts journalism. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.