Trotsky in Mexico 1-5

Trotsky in Mexico #1

Thesis: I love you /Te amo

Antithesis: I don't love you/No te amo

Synthesis: I only love you when I'm needy/
Solo te amo cuando estoy necesitado


 

Trotsky in Mexico #2

One day, Frida, Lev, and Diego
watched a crippled boy hold his arms
out and sway from side to side. 
He was standing at the top of a small hill
that smelled of dung and forgotten bees. 
The boy shouted, "Bring me some clowns!
I need to laugh." Frida and Lev
watched with curiosity. Because of pain,
pain everywhere, she leaned on Lev's shoulder. 
Diego trudged over and stood still below
the boy, now the king of that hill.
Diego began to make faces for the boy.
And the boy became giddy, so much lighter.
Even forgetful, perhaps.
It began to rain. 

The rain made them laugh harder.
Then, they felt sorry for themselves.
The way clowns do.

Diego yelled," Come down, I can get you
a ride to where you live."

The boy smiled and stared vacantly at Diego.
"No, señor, I have wings and I will fly."

And with that, the boy turned, faced 
the other side of the hill, 
and faded away.

 


 

Trotsky in Mexico #3

In the heat, Mexico City
begins to sink. Your wife,
Natalia, spends her days
knitting sweaters no one
will wear, or sitting by the window,
still as a relic. She tells you
that the absence of snow 
has made her unable to dream
in black and white.

And you, yourself, haven't felt love
since Siberia, when your wife knitted
your fingers to a frostbitten Menshevik,
in hopes of restoring circulation. 
He died anyway.

 


 

Trotsky in Mexico #4

While your wife is sleeping 
in a room too far to hear
the ocean, or a trilogy of conspiring 
fish that feed on their own spitefulness,
Frida comes into your room and taunts
you with her unfinished sentences, 
the half-open lips that stay locked.
She's withholding a breath
cheating you out of something.
In an authoritarian voice, 
you order her to undress. 

She warns you that her body
is full of old scars and portholes
to nowhere. In some places, she is 
still short-changed by a polio
that made her uneven, prone to lean
against the edges of affable strangers.
It does not matter, you say,
because a good Bolshevik knows
all matter of suffering. 

The body is a lost soul.

So she undresses,
telling you that she can never 
love you with the coherency 
of Western logic 
the predictability 
of old fashioned water clocks.
But she can love you 
in the horizontal position.
And in that position, you can rest assured,
she will remain faithful. 

 


 

Trotsky in Mexico #5

The boy arrives at the blue house
for his art lesson. Frida receives
him with fresh oil paint on her
fingers. She never asks about 
his one eye, whited-out, 
or the jagged scar across
his left cheek. Its color
the sound of seashells,
a shore closed to visitors.
His mind, she imagines, 
full of exotic birds, 
voices of child emperors
who invented their
own alphabets. He asks her
about her new guests,
where are they from.
She says they are from
far away, a cold land full 
of empty white spaces
and talking bears.
"Talking bears?" he says.
"What do they say?"
"They say how the humans
come to only kill them
and sell their fur."
The boy mulls this over.
He can't seem to finish
his simple landscape.

A week later, Frida
reads in the papers
that the same boy
drowned while trying
to swim the Pacific.
Fisherman trapped him
in their nets. They tossed
him back to land. 
An old mid-wife 
declares him dead
from too much water
on the brain. 

But he dies with a smile.
Frida knows he was trying
to reach the bears
to save them.

 

 

Kyle Hemmings

Kyle Hemmings is a retired health care worker. His work has been featured in [b]oink, Sonic Boom, Bones, The Airgonaut, Lost Balloon, and elsewhere. He loves street photography and obscure garage bands of the 60s. 

 

Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Wednesday, July 4, 2018 - 11:20