Notes Five and Six to Vladimir Putin During the Russia Ukraine War

Note Five on Day Thirty-four

Now look!
You’ve burst the buttons of your pompous Emperor jacket
—Those little buttons made of children’s teeth.

Stitching the jacket closed
with babies’ vein and ligament
won’t keep your bully breast intact,

and how you’ll clean the fabric
of its ooze and marrow
is hard to say.

Just mind the lethal clot
that’s blocking up your heart.
—Its poisoned blood might kill your own kin too.


Note Six on Day Fifty

Your new Tyrant jacket
—woven from tendon and artery
stitched with gut
and studded with the bones of the dead—
has by now superseded your Emperor jacket.

Your jackboots are reinforced
with bile and corpse.

Your eyeballs are tattooed with swastikas
and your vision honed toward holocaust.

The Four Horses champ.
The Bell tolls.

From the forest
Owl calls.

He hoots you to halt.
To take off your combat costume.
To stop before apocalypse.
To advance to the candle-lit grotto
for prayer and poetry.


IMAGE: War (Krieg) by Käthe Kollwitz, 1923

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