“THE RED STAINED PORTRAIT”

The portrait at my breast, tattered and creased,
reminds me of the city that I know—
the Lanzheron, not unlike Galveston,
transfigured by sunbeams, bouncing off the sea,
the waters I will never meet again,
never to clink Baltikas on the sand,
militia muscles glittering in the wet,
and she who brought retarded joy in sun.

She liked my cooking and my poetry,
not like the other battalion boys,
all brutes with colored sleeves and heavy brows,
and yet she liked to shiver at the Iron Cross,
and the totenkopf upon my green lapel,
the tumult of my hot steel will,
prepared for any harm on her behalf.
I longed to offer her my valor badge,
for which the deeds I wrought I do not speak,
a token of priorities, love and duty,
heavy with ribbon in her slender hands.

The saracens approach, and hope is lost—
just called an airstrike to arrest the Turks;
I gave the fiat for my rotten carnage.
Soon I will be particles, the flesh of face
stuck to the side of the concrete rampart,
the putrid smell, clots frozen in the night,
pink mist and tatters of blue and yellow—
under it all, annihilated in the flame,
the red stained portrait, Danochka,
which pushes my cheeks into my eye sockets,
for thrill of becoming vapor with such a face.

— Nicholas Dolinger is a poet, essayist, and j*urnalist writing articles to overthrow the communist Chinese government. He is the author of Sunbathing I Want To, an apocalyptic long poem about the 21st century. He is the host of The Beautiful Toilet, a podcast about literature in the ruins of Western civilization. His j*urnalistic writing for The Epoch Times can be found here. He is known to post his bizarre theories about gender and art on his Twitter, which can be found here.