Two Poems by Olga Maslova

Wolf Rondo

A week ago
a day ago
a phone call ago
I said “my darling dove”
I said “my silver wolf”
I said “my blue-eyed love”

All of it
a robin egg ago
your throaty laugh ago
a song by Suzy Solidor ago
an outline my body left
inside your bathrobe
tossed on the floor
was true

I warned you
a scream ago
a rain ago
your Engineer boot
flying at the door ago

My blue-eyed darling
my wild wolf mon coeur
don’t look for me
among the smoky autumn leaves
dried grass of our hikes
unsaved doc files
my hair pins scattered
by your bed


Dinner with French Lesbians

She says tonight I am having dinner with French lesbians She says
with whom I have absolument nothing in common She says
They do not like my poems and I don’t like theirs
Then why?
It is late November, the leaves are gone, and they are
the only three familiar faces I know in town She says

The leaves never fall off here on the West Coast
and there is no November
I think of that place, La Petit Pontoise,
where we ate after finally leaving the bedroom
There are no trains, planes or boats that will take me across the ocean:
The time difference between us sometimes nine hours
and sometimes seventeen years

I am looking at my watch, by now they are ordering dessert,
gateau au pommes, creme brûlée, or whatever
French lesbians in Paris prefer after dinner
She won’t have any, she takes her wine naked, sans vêtements

If I were there, she and I would muse about the taste of wine in its inception
I would quote the Zen koan about the sound of a fallen tree in an empty forest
Can one taste the wine while it’s still uncorked
the one before Eve, before the snake and the apple?

It’s 10 pm in Paris and they discuss one relatively well-known poet
all four of them dislike for completely different reasons


Olga Maslova is a Ukrainian-American writer and theatre designer. She is the librettist for several major vocal productions: the opera Black Square, the oratorio Last Day of an Eternal City and Venetian Cycle, an art song cycle for baritone, soprano and string quartet + harp, all with music by composer Ilya Demutsky. Olga is a 2021/2022 Fulbright Fellow for a musical libretto Russian Drafts. Olga’s poetry has been published in Plume Poetry and Beyond Queer Words. Olga teaches in the Department of Theatre at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

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