Two Days Later You Will Decide You Will Not Return to the U.S.

I cut in line to buy you fresh alpine cheese.

Our train leaves in two minutes.

For the first time in a decade
you will visit your native town,
where one wrong turn on a ski slope
can eject you from the French quarters
into German country.

I cut a daring tunnel
through winter fashion heroes,
barely make it onto the train
and onto the seat next to you.

I stop the fistfight in your eyes
with the unexpected piece of cheese.

You chomp down.

La Dent de Ruth floats by in the distance.

I take out my camera and start clicking,
tickling your midriff
to extract involuntary smiles.

Your hand blocks my view.

This is a reprint of work originally published in Neptune Court.

Originally from Moscow, Russia, Anton Yakovlev lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and works as a college textbook editor. He studied filmmaking and poetry at Harvard University. His work is published or forthcoming in The New Yorker, Fulcrum, American Arts Quarterly, Measure, The Raintown Review, The New Verse News and elsewhere. He is the author of chapbooks Neptune Court (The Operating System, 2015) and The Ghost of Grant Wood (Finishing Line Press, 2015). He has also directed several short films.

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