Thursday, April 15, 2010

Memory On The Inside Edge

How clearly the taciturn
master turns, on me, his look!
Anna Akhmatova

(Olympic coliseum, Vancouver)

Now, she hides each skate
with a nude stocking, demphasizes
the laced boot. Leg and foot
are left to flow as one.

It's more natural,
and allows her figure
to become muted sculpture,
Lladro dancer
who spins, ignites the sparkle of ice
and something much colder --

Moscovite eyes
challenging her not to leave
the golden-domed city
or him.

They glare at her
then dart back and forth
between the fir trees
and convent towers,
His look almost scratches the sky,
a rink of frosted glass.

Last year,
he could tighten her footsteps,
narrow the distance of dreams.
She confined her first ambition
to the art of keeping him pleased:

the table warm
with candlelight and vodka,

the bed with quilts and skin veiled
in Saint Victoria's black lace.

She learned the "secret"
was not temptation
but survival with thoughts of escape
gleaming on the cold light
that shone through a window.

Each night, the degree
of urgency increased.