Poems for Zlata

    for Zlata Tekova
I may be mistaken. And coming from your lips
even a refusal will be prove worth savoring.
But these ways we keep meeting, half-unexpectedly,
and at all the right times, places…
Either the KGB is alive and well,
with you still among them, or this is Kali saying
how strongly she desires that we have an affair.
      Amsterdam, July 13th 1992

Romance is as romance does,
I feel my soul turning
on the wings of my love.

Dreams are whispering
in the chill night air,
I strain to embrace them:
My heart is laid bare.
    Berlin, November 21st 1992

Something romantic
in a lonely sort of way,
coming to the same onionfish place
where, victims of love, we shared
our first savigny drinks together:
sipping a solitary Black Jack
on the night before parting from you.
      Berlin, November 30th 1992

No more phone calls
at just gone midnight
the words “Hello, my dear”
and a soft Russian smile
caressing my ear

Gone the carnal silences
we strained past our own voices
to hear on those late evenings
that now seem more ancient
than my deepest fears

Especially on nights
when I refrain from winstoning
the pain of not hearing from you
being mutually near to you
is murderously clear

Times I do go out
ending up in the Winston Bar
(place we have yet had a chance to share)
sipping white wine I dolefully cast an eye on couples
and know there is no way I dare stop myself
from thinking of you

It may sound weird
but I propose having another affair
though this time round, if only for luck’s sake
we start off at the Winston

It never was my bag
trying to play the Marlboro man.
      Amsterdam, Ides of March 1993