Winter 2007 • Vol. XXIX No. 1 Poetry |


From the Russian.    I. On the third day of spring a wind blows, snow turns black as an old chalkboard. Smoke curls out from pipes to the north floating endlessly, covering versts. You've noticed that everything in March seems too long and cold, and even windows begin to narrow. What are these—pines? No, my dear, more aspens. Puddles around you freeze as you wait for the bus. Setting out on foot, passing by the vegetable market, where Ukrainians and Georgians work all day, and the rats all night. Glass crunches under foot, but I'm not worried about my shoes so far from summer, it doesn't matter—home is near. Farther on at Building No. 3 stay right along Sand Street, a courtyard steeped in cutlets and birch sap. See, Pankratov, that historian of Muscovy, drinking on the bench. A sign that the season has begun—fill my glass to the top. Chat with him about current events and move on. Soon it'll be dark and hands will freeze. A moon sprouts beneath Natasha's windo

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