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Thursday, February 04, 2021


by Ruth Lehrer

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny makes a heart gesture with his hands while in a cage in the Moscow City Court on Tuesday. His suspended sentence from his 2014 criminal conviction was ultimately converted to a prison term. (Press Service of Simonovsky District Court/Handout/Reuters via CBC)

He’s in a glass box right now they call it the aquarium we can’t hear him 
    can he hear us
the judge pretends to read judgment the news already knows already 
    prints her words
before they exit her mouth leave her tongue like a corrupt mind meld 
    two years eight
months in a prison colony with his silent hands he flashes a heart to his wife 
    who takes
off her mask and waves.

Ruth Lehrer is a writer and sign language interpreter living in western Massachusetts. She is the author of the novel Being Fishkill and the poetry chapbook Tiger Laughs When You Push.