• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 08

Moskovskiye Sestri

Moscow, last snow, shortly before
April. Armed with a pin cushion,
she drapes my pirozhki shoulders
and decides us: sisters in crime.

Drunken ballerina, I gladly fall for
she who can stitch me back up. She
talks Bolshoi, broken ankles, whether
the dark should devour the swan,

and how to mend tulle with invisibles.
Just because something has assumed
the shape of girls does not make it
any less dangerous than sobaki –

Mayakovski, but with a tape measure.
I am familiar with these delicate
instruments of torture: white chalk,
pattern paper. At the opera or with

a couturière, one is always: contorted,
or waiting. She calls me milaya –
that is, if I quit wearing black, embraced
the colour pink, her brand of abrasive

feminine. A woman needs an oligarkh,
she laughs like little pearl buttons,
then downs half the bottle – she pulls
me close, electrified and etherized,


Moskovskiye Sestri

the fumes on her breath make us both
giggle like shkolnitsi – she pulls me
close to the mirror, and we do look alike,
and I wish I could die right here, right

now, in our pretty puff pastry gowns,
never make it to the datcha – who needs
a groom, when you can kiss the bride.