Farewell, St. Petersburg – Joy Reid

Farewell, St Petersburg
The tour guide ticker tapes the next
forty eight.
She is Siberian, so funnels words, mouth twisted
sideways.
Fellow passengers have formed tete-a-tetes –
the kind when two bodies curve
tuliped hands
shielding something precious.

Despite the cracked bell
of hollowness –
I am leaving the Venice of the North with images,
indelible:
Gilt spires heron-fishing glacial sky-streams;
edifices of rose macaroon – of lime, of tangerine;
bobble hat of Pushkin Theatre – squat, spot-lit;
Catherine, steaming leviathan, prominents awash
beneath her skirts;
birch leaves fondling cold limbs, Galatean;
wrought ironwork – Jack’s beans a-riot among pigeons;
fireworks a-sperm on long stem cigarettes…

raw tang as tongue licks enticement,
the wry succumbing, then – ahhhh,
chrysanthemum!

How I wish you
were here.