JOHN TALBIRD // Tchaikovsky
You stand in the middle of the room
looking as if you will scream.
We feel like screaming, the both of us
the sounds of them listening
in this pause of quiet
at the walls we share. You
open your mouth but no words come, just the tenor on the stereo singing
the Russian words of dead now-obscure Aleksey Apukhtin.
John Duncan Talbird’s fiction has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, South Carolina Review, Ambit, Amoskeag, Warwick Review and elsewhere. His book of stories with images by Leslie Kerby, A Modicum of Mankind, will be out in 2014 from Brooklyn publisher Norte Maar. He has held writing residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and is on the editorial board of Green Hills Literary Lantern. An English professor at Queensborough Community College, he lives with his wife in Brooklyn. This is his first published poem.