Marina Blitshteyn

The New World (2015)

Columbus said
the world
was a big
tit, and he
wanted to go
to the top—
I packed
my bags in
silence but
just as smug

Columbus said
we were in Eden
we made it
but I don’t
buy it—
something is still
rotten in this

Show me a hero and I’ll
show you a woman
tired of fucking him—
Columbus said we meant
to fall off the map

I’ve come to my stop
at Astoria Blvd, a young
Columbus taller than 
3 cabs wide—on Columbus 
Day a homeless man 
lies shoeless at its base—
I’ve just come from
Columbus Circle and think
it’s a gas—the man,
the name, the day—beyond
the overpass my bf waits
for me with dinner

Columbus said kill
all the men and
I do, one by one
in my heart till
I’ve had all the pasta
with red sauce

Columbus said take 
this ship as your 
bride, your lawfully 
wed, and the dishes
stack like the dead,
the sink no place
for the sea so
I’m not doing them.

another world (2019)

on mars life proved
impossible, unsustainable,
so we packed me up good
—is abundance of home 
a sin, is that why 
we're stuck here, 
fantasies of leaving it all
behind, abroad,
in another country
another tongue
is possible.
the statue
the day
in name
if not yet
tenor—i land
at astoria-ditmars
discovering nothing
but distance,
loss—high rises
tall as the day
is long, getting
as rings, as my day
is full—i know
i've always 
i don't belong here
but you at least
made it feel
like home
before kicking me out—

Marina Blitshteyn and her family came to the US as refugees in 1991. She is the author of 2 poetry collections, ‘Two Hunters’ (Argos Books, 2019), and ‘i take your voice’ (Switchback Books, 2022), winner of The Gatewood Prize. Prior chapbooks include ‘Russian for Lovers’ (Argos Books), ‘Nothing Personal’ (Bone Bouquet Books), ‘$kill$’ (dancing girl press), and ‘Sheet Music’ (Sunnyoutside Press). She is working on a novel about motherhood and grief.