I 935, Lucien Aignier
squeezes his offending nostrils
with leather-gloved efficient fingers,
stifling a ticklish undignified threat of a sneeze,
and keeps his pig-at-the-abattoir eye
on the fawning Party faithful come to see him off at Stresa.
Unobserved on another platform,
called by no one to attention,
petulantly K. leafs through
a page or two
of a history of Abyssinia,
slipping her sandals off and rubbing a foot against her calf.