Corpses and Cats

During the Siege of Leningrad
Citizens ate corpses and cats.

Beneath the Hermitage
Framers ate glue.

Old women walked passageways
Dark and molding to protect the art.

What does ‘old’ mean except
A man doesn’t want to fuck you.

Big deal. The Musical Comedy
Theatre did not shutter.

A grand actress thawed make-up
Over a lamp. It had to go on.

After one of The Three Musketeers
Dropped dead onstage

She tried to speak her lines
But couldn’t, for grief.

The Luftwaffe bombed Soviet
Planes, idle on the tarmac.

Stalin was a coward-leader just
Like Trump and also a fool

Who trusted Hitler, tee hee.
Fled Leningrad because he could.

Who knows quite what to say
About that onion deep-fried

In snow. I don’t. Except its people
Ate cats and corpses and lived.


Sarah Sarai’s poems are in, or forthcoming in, Vending Machine Press, Sinister Wisdom, Golden Walkman, Susan the Journal, Prelude, No Dear Magazine, Barrow Street, Peacock, Painted Bride Quarterly and others. Other recent pubs include her chapbook Geographies of Soul and Taffeta (Indolent Books) and inclusion in anthologies Fat Gold Watch — Sylvia Plath Poems (Ping-Pong Free Press) and Transition: Poems in the Aftermath (Indolent Books).

Jim Agpalza was born and raised on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He is a freelance illustrator/painter of the weird and profane. He now resides outside of Portland Oregon with his wife and kids and cat (plus ghost cat).