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The Little Staircase

A Jugendstil tower. Myself quite new.
I heard the underbell flowers uncurl.

You were sitting on the little staircase. By all accounts, a pearl.
I stiffened. Limits were measured.

You were the sum of all you encountered,
become what you could not deter.

We were joined by the ladies’ confessor (and connoisseur),
self-absorbed as a Klein jug.

Everyone indulged you. Foma looked smug.
Indulging itself, the building yawned.

The spirit determines its context: an arc is drawn.
Straighten the arc and see yourself in the unexpected!

Take a bull, for example. Bisected,
it looks like a worm.

Tyranny was getting warm.
Soon that arc would surround our company.

It took my whole inner pantry:
I rose like a wave in a frozen ocean (i.e., in very slow motion).

The whole choir went back to whence it had come,
together with Gloria, green as chlorine,

nodding off on the gleam,
eyes icosahedral.

My skull was punctured by Polish cathedrals.
I wore them like antlers. I looked like an elk.

Out of TV screens, the sludge oozed out.
Evolution started from scratch.

The dictator consulted his watch.
His judges agreed: he was fitness itself.

I was thinking of you, for whom I exhaled
like a blowtorch.

I would stitch you a pair of jasmine boots
to teach my fingers every inch of your legs.

There’s darkness on the little staircase.
I’ll wait for you here at the bottom. You won’t climb up alone.

Translated from Russian by: 
Wayne Chambliss
Original source: 

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