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Hedgehog

The hedgehog extracts the root of the sky – a dark prophet
shouldering the full weight of Sebastian’s body.

The hedgehog has trickled out of a sieve – its back is
at odds with itself, so meticulously plural.

If you shoo it – it’ll curdle like a punctured balloon
and roll from under your feet – to nest under your neckline.

A locksmith’s tool – the hedgehog is – an oaf dancing the twist,
a dustbin at a bus stop – the nucleus of a snowdrift. *

Its spines are dulcet to women, like pins in a box,
but it treads heavily on sleeping men’s chins.

When the hedgehog disappears, it pops like a dry firecracker.
Now as you rise from the ashes – brush off the bristles!

* This line sprang up by association with an episode from my work history. It happened in March, I worked as a street cleaner, and the foreman, my supervisor, told me to clear out, in one go, a huge pile of snow near a bus stop. I couldn’t have possibly done it in a week, so I hired a bulldozer for three rubles and happily went home. The next morning, all hell broke loose, and I was fined in the amount of my two monthly salaries for vandalizing government property. Neither I nor the bulldozer operator suspected that a dozen gypsum dustbins had been buried in the snow since autumn – naturally, the bulldozer blade turned these phoenixes into tooth powder.

Translated from Russian by: 
Constantine Rusanov
Original source: 
Еж
 

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