The Process
Sonya Taaffe

Kafka has gotten lost in his own adjective.
Yesterday he wrote me from Zürau,
but my address was censored
and the envelope shook out a blue rat,
the postmark in two inks
dripping from its mouth like hemorrhage.
All roads lead to Prague, he tells me,
all rooms are waiting rooms
with typewriters behind their doors.
Now a pair of policemen live out of a suitcase
in the second-floor stairwell,
they took the handkerchief he coughed into
and thanked him for his signature.
Their long-distance calls echo in the hallway after midnight.
They offer me cigarettes from Berlin.
By the time I finish preparing this poem,
it will have changed shape too many times to read.
Dora with the ghosts of thirty-six letters in London
knows where he is,
but sends no forwarding address.

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Sonya Taaffe

Sonya Taaffe’s short fiction and poetry can be found most recently in the collection Ghost Signs (Aqueduct Press) and in the anthologies Heiresses of Russ 2016: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction, The Museum of All Things Awesome and That Go Boom, and An Alphabet of Embers: An Anthology of Unclassifiables. She lives in Somerville with her husband and two cats and once named a Kuiper belt object.