when tears pushed through
I thought of Vladimir Putin shirtless.
My thoughts were cloaked,
but I’m not so sure she didn’t guess. I wondered
what dreams the Russian president let go,
if he made mixed tapes
for American presidents
but kept them for himself,
if he saw Chechnya as a metaphor
for some recurrent heartbreak.
My thoughts bent around
cheap plastic rims, back
to the problems I’d been avoiding:
there was no outcome I could label success.She was my Chechnya.