Upon Hearing Of The Death Of Navalny

Alexei Navalny

What were you thinking?

Opening up your heart
To the Monster in the Tower
Opening up your heart
To a people without power

Could you fill the Demon
With fear?

Could you fight the mad Goblins
With reason?

This is an Empire of the Dead
Life is not allowed here

In this vast land
Freedom will not stand

In this vast land
Great men shall be born
Only to witness
How the Soul dies

The Dead are Watching
The Dead are Counting
The Dead rule
Above and Beneath the Earth

What mad love moved you Navalny?
What spirit of removal?

You were doomed Navalny
And everyone seemed to know it
But you

What sublime ignorance
What divine defiance

Such a man as you
Could lift a world

But not this one

In this one

You were doomed
To rot in prison

And to know torture
And to be used
As another stark warning:

In this land
There are no dreams
Only nightmares

In this land
You move
Very carefully

In this land
All backs are bent
To the Czar

In this land
Your only escape
Is death, exile, or
A murdering heart

In this land, Navalny,
Where you are no more

Dan Corjescu teaches at the University of Tübingen’s “Studium Professionale” Program

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