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Nadezhda


by Reva Zerkalo


    My lair entrapped in an accordion building - 
    sound squeezing up and then down and then up -
    the flat above me vacant for a while. Then... 
    clipclop... clippetyclop... clipclop 
    staccato signals morse-coding my home, 
    miles of footsteps perplexing deadlines. 

    Silence is not golden when wrenched with suspense 
    of ensuing noise. So my documents were ditched 
    as I switched the blank screen for the white ceiling, 
    gazing in a daze, musing on the colour of her shoes -
    blood red, stabbing my head with their five inch heels. 

    When she stuttered to her kitchen, I'd parallel-follow -
    enraptured audience to the timpani-percussion, 
    hanging out my window to sniff a whiff of her cuisine. 

    She'd wallow in a hollow of fragrant bubbles as 
    I basked in my bath till waves chilled arctic, 
    floating to her splishsplashing ablutions
    as she crooned those swooning lovesongs. 

    Evolving images, photos slowly developed: 
    I couldn't escape the shape of her fingernails and 
    that delightful mole on her shoulder. 

    Deepfreeze winter would trap me flatbound
    yet ... I tiptoed down and lurked in the lobby, 
    yearning yet spurning a chance encounter. 

    When she glided out, purring in furs, 
    I sunk into shadows, binocular-eyes collecting 
    fleeting ecstasies of circumflex eyebrows 
    which I'll lick one day with a flickering tonguetip as
    her gloved hands flutter like butterflies over my flesh. 

    I trailed her snowtracks, supping on mists of blissful breath, 
    my cashmere pockets archiving souvenirs: 
    a lipstick kissed cigarette butt; 
    a midnight hair, stranded on a bench; 
    a scrap of paper, whipped by the wind from her hand; 
    her voice, eavesdropped by a kiosk, sirensinging my soul ... 

    Such paltry tributes to a sultry passion, 
    so I had to had to had to rootle through her rubbish and 
    that's where Nadezhda unearthed me - 
    by the bins, inhaling the sin of her serviette hygiĆ©nique, 
    tasting the ferric tang of freshly-spilt blood, 
    pleading on my knees in the sullied snow... 

    Fear not, Doctor, I am still with Nadezhda, 
    even within these meta... phorically padded walls. 
    I glimpsed her reflection in the women's ward, 
    in that cracked mirror above the sink, 
    frowning in a dressing gown and fluffy pink slippers
    as a nurse injected liquids into her shapely arm
    and a ghost of a man hovered at her bedside, 
    bearing armfuls of trembling waxen flowers.

 

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