Aphelion Issue 291, Volume 28
February 2024
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
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Flash Writing Challenge
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To Tamara In Rock Creek

by Tatiana Retivov

Tamara, you are more alive than before.
The cushions on your fingers are still
waiting for love. Aunt Emma questions
your whereabouts, the time of your return.
Patiently she reads the Holy Book
all day remembering your smile.

If you were back it would be
no different. The same tug of war
between mate and mate on an un-carved tomb
waiting for your surrender.
When you were found in the ruins
of their unyielding passion, it was too late.

Tamara, if you had never gone, I would be
the one you would pay homage to.
You too would wonder what,
for heaven's sake,
there is to do
when dying's done by others.

Still, you are gone. The marble dome
that shelters you is cold.
Sometimes the watchman hears me racing
for the moon at dawn. I come to weed.
The parsley has grown brown
around the corners of your bed.

© 2022 Tatiana Retivov

Tatiana Retivov is a Russian-American poet and translator residing in Kyiv, Ukraine where she runs a literary salon and publishes books. She holds a B.A.in English Literature from the University of Montana and an M.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Michigan, where she received an Avery Hopwood Poetry Award for poetry in 1980. She has translated "Brodsky Through the Eyes of his Contemporaries. Vol. I" (ed. by Valentina Polukhina), and "Mandelstam" by Oleg Lekmanov into English.

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