Perestroika – a poem by Jen Stewart Fueston


The amphitheatre smells of dank chlorine and tired
old Soviet bricks. Late autumn sun lilts down
on briny water churning in a dingy pool.

Dolphins lift off the water’s surface, curve gray bodies
through hoops, over arcs of spray, jump in time
to strains of Elvis or The Beach Boys Greatest Hits.

We laugh and clap along to music. Ira rolls her eyes and tells me
every year for fifteen now, this show remains the same.
And still, we are transfixed, open-mouthed,

by beleaguered creatures leaping up from concrete pools.
Nothing dims it. It’s a cool September Sunday,
on the far side of an old map’s iron borders,

trainers pose on backs of dolphins, and I imagine
New Jerusalem, new heavens and new earth.
All those lions lying down with lambs.


Jen Stewart Fueston lives in Longmont, Colorado. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of journals, most recently Ruminate, Rock & Sling, and The St. Katherine Review. Her poems have twice been finalists for the McCabe poetry prize, and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her first chapbook, “Visitations,” was published in 2015, and her second, “Latch,” will be released in early 2019. She has taught writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as internationally in Hungary, Turkey, and Lithuania.

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