Sleek & black writhed in the silent dust then rose
before us, turning, as it turned, into a horse,
the one from Andrei Rublev. We panned right
until we found the body of the little balloon man,
his hand-sewn balloons hissing as they collapsed.
The field of action, we could see, was broad & Russian,
endless gray fields combed with gray rivers, though
in black & white who could tell. It rained then didn't.
At the inn they said, “No room for romanticism,”
a failure of imagination. We pounded
on the door anyhow. Every village seemed
about to catch fire. Women readied their wailing.
A thatched roof caught. When the hoof-beats sounded,
we put sugar in our palms, stretched our arms.