by Eve Toliman
Anna Akhmatova. Just the sound of your name softly hammering against the roof of my mouth calls me, gently, into order. Anna Akhmatova. If one such as you once lived then I want to live here too. From another world in a smoldering time that formed diamond hearts in the crucible of relentless suffering, you spoke me into being. You left your words dead still on the page that I might find them again, just where you put them. I return to them shyly. How do I dare resurrect them, dare even touch them, when I have not known what you suffered? Yet somehow through the darkness of your time into the bright darkness of mine, your words give me breath, full of the scent of spring and bitter cold iron, like blood on my tongue. Because of you, I will breathe deeper, and I will risk a little more, your heart in mine, until I take my place beside you under the unknown stones.