Jennifer Habel is the author of Good Reason, winner of the Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition. Her poems have appeared in the Believer, Gulf Coast, the Massachusetts Review, the Southeast Review, and elsewhere.
Now, in the autumn of 2009, the American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, stood before a colorful mural featuring a hammer and sickle—the bust of Lenin from Reagan’s day had been removed—to address the students not of the Soviet Union but of Russia. And while Lenin was gone, the Russian past, and her own, was very much on Clinton’s mind.
A bull, dead in a field, this field, just before dusk, the giant creature mangled, broken. Its backbone was snapped mid-way down and its neck snapped, too, red jags of bone sticking out, flies and yellow jackets congregating at the torn hide.