Dogs 2006


he sits
at a dilapidated desk
in a dimly lit apartment
buried in an unfashionable district
near the outer ring
of Moscow
and surveys
his work
for the day

the desktop
is filled
with stacks of paper
containing different parts
of The Story
to each stack
is a computer diskette
containing the same narrative
in a word processing

his job
is to distribute
the appropriate part
of The Story
keeping pace
with the emails
from lonely men
all over the world
longing for that
Russian babe
who will fly to them
and solve their problems
with women

the prostitutes
would come each day
a different one
for each lovesick target
he would hand them a diskette
representing the next
segment of The Story
for that particular
then the girls
would go to the local
internet café
and send their emails
to the intended victims
keeping the relationships
to consummation

he allowed
each of the women
a certain degree
of latitude
with any interpersonal
comments or questions
which they may
wish to add
to the script
in order to present
an appearance of spontaneity
in the responses
the girls
truly enjoyed
playing the game

he targeted
Americans mostly
but money was money
and he had even prospered
from the weaknesses
of fellow Russians

it was all
so easy

when The Story
to the visa
and airline ticket stage
they all became edgy
wondering if they were pushing
for too much too soon
but their anxieties
were mostly misplaced
men were men
and always willing to pay
for what they

Western Union
was a good friend
allowing easy transfer
and exchange of funds
everyone benefiting
from each payday
the whores happy
for the extra cash
without having
to disrobe
and Boris
simply enjoying
his bit
of revenge

had urged him
to change The Story
suggesting that it
would eventually
be detected as false
due to repetition
but he was determined
to ride that horse
to the end
after all
The Story
was a proven winner
initially used by Yuliya
when she snagged
her own American
and left Boris
for good

she had been
a meticulous chronicler
but careless concealer
leaving printed copies of her emails
hidden under the floorboards
of their bedroom
to be discovered by him
months after her

it was then
that he discovered
the wonders
of the worldwide web
and although
he never touches
a computer himself
he keeps printed copies
of every communiqué
and each

his money
from the venture
is spent on American whiskey
(no more Russian vodka for him)
and American cigarettes
(Marlboro's the best)
and maybe
an occasional blowjob
from the hookers
satisfying most
of his urges
other than those
meager extravagances
his life was the same
(except for his job)
as it had been
when Yuliya
had left him

he seldom
ventured out
of the dingy apartment
maybe an occasional
night stroll
to survey
the old neighborhood
while he had the place
to himself

his reason
for living
had become
the The Story
and watching
those disillusioned men
gain hope
then lose it all
believing their lives
would change forever
because of a chance
internet encounter
eventually realizing
the deception
and that nothing
in their miserable lives
would change

only then
they were less
of dollars

he saved
most of his money
fixated on the thought
that one day
he would take a trip
to American
and find Yuliya
in her new

but today
he closed one folder
a bit regretfully
the man
from Oklahoma
had written strange
and wonderful love poems
that had made him laugh
throughout many
an evening
but now
this American knew
sooner than some
that he had
been duped

Boris would miss
those emails
but he had
the money
and he was
to Yuliya

one day
he would also
stop in Oklahoma
and have a drink
with the

he may then
the laugh