sitting under mahogany-and-cane fan blades on the veranda.
Leaning back, legs crossed,
He smiled easily and added,
"He didn't believe in me, Trotsky. Too bad.
"The palms were dripping that day, but the rain had let up.
Mercader set his raincoat on the table
with the ice axe under it.
Trotsky was reading.
When he looked down, Mercader withdrew his weapon,
swung and sculpted a new Winter into Trotsky's mind."
Jay shrugged, as if to say what can you do?
"The guards rushed in of course, and beat that man like a pinata.
Each fist was an eloquent argument,
each kick a blow for the worker."
He waved His hand dismissively.
"It was too late of course. Mexico is devout, but unforgiving.
"Trotsky knew he was dying, and said so.
An aide brought a basin for any final ideas,
and someone put on a phonograph record of Russian dances.
Across the room, Trotsky could see where Death had scrawled
Te veo pronto
on the mirror above the sink in red lipstick.
"He never asked for me, and died the next day."
The interviewer followed Jay's gaze to the flower garden--
dahlias, the Mexican national bloom.
"The Aztecs used to eat them," he told the interviewer.
The scribe wrote this down on his pad from the hotel,
with "Bienvenida a Coyoacan"
in bold script across the top like a leaflet or a prayer card.
for Dverse Poetics: In the light of other days.
Leon Trotsky, living in exile in Mexico, was assassinated in 1940 by Ramon Mercader, using an ice axe. Trostsky lingered for a day before passing. He was an avowed atheist.
Te veo pronto = see you soon