Expiations, Kaleidoscopes, or What Death Wants From Us

Writing is a way of speaking with the dead–of continuing a conversation across time and space and corporeality. Poets don’t hide this. Eugenia Ginzburg wrote Alexander Blok into a poem to keep her company during solitary confinement in Stalin’s gulag. Blok managed to evade the guards’ detection, traveling into the cell on the ray of a memory. “Poetry, at least, they could not take away from me!” Eugenia wrote.

“Her death hurt you. Her suffering never did. If the lion is also the devil, unbutton your shirt and feed him.

Traci Brimhall