Diane G. Martin

Execution Bridge

Pearl by Mikhail Vrubel

Four unicorns have been impaled
on Lomonosov Bridge.
Its iron chains hang decorative,
too weighty to lift, budge.
So whimsical, I used to think.
Their sole purpose is to threaten,
slung between the granite
towers. Hooked to paving stones, to
street, they station finite
yearnings, link historic verses,
stencils under feet. Call Sonya,
Yulia, Anya for love.
Paint survived the winter better
than slight women removed.
Mobile numbers cast the first stone.
Here lie Sonya, Yulia, Anya.
We are tripping on their
bones. Did any of the men tread
softly on their dreams? Where
are their footprints buried? Why are
souls of unicorns alighting
on Fontanka’s melted
ice? All water under the bridge
now, with towers tilted.
Cautionary, horns bowed, wings bound.

April 3, 2017
St. Petersburg, Russia


About the writer:
Diane G. Martin, Russian literature specialist and graduate of Willamette University, has published fiction and memoir in New London Writers, a vignette in Vine Leaves Literary Review, creative nonfiction in Poetry Circle, and more fiction in Breath and Shadow. Her poetry has appeared in the Willamette Review of the Liberal Arts, Portland Review of Art, Pentimento, Twisted Vine Leaves, The Examined Life, Wordgathering, as well as upcoming in Dark Ink, and Wordsworthing, as well as translated poetry in Rhino. Her photos have been exhibited in the US, Russia, and Italy, published in Conclave, Slipstream, and Dodging the Rain. She has broadcast essays on Maine Public Radio, as well as participating in radio programs and documentaries in the US and Russia. She has recently completed a collection of short stories and essays.

Image: Pearl by Mikhail Vrubel (1856-1910). Pastel, gouache, and charcoal on cardboard. 35 x 44 cm. 1904. Public domain.