When I moved to Russia I assumed I wouldn't think of you. It's been the coldest winter of my life, but you're still there. It's like you followed me in the guise of ivory-skinned girls with strong features and dark expressions. They ought to be queens--queens like they used to be, beautiful and fair. They would inherit this desolate white landscape, shroud themselves in dark furs. And never smile: like their demesnes, these regal ladies must be grim.

I'm wearing a heavy woolen coat and a furry hat. I'm wearing fingerless gloves and I can't feel my hands. There's a fire burning, for all the good that's doing. I've got a kettle on, but I'm afraid it'll go cold before I can drink it.

And the thing is these ice queens, these Russian princesses, look nothing like you. I don't speak the language, so I don't know what they're like, but--I can't see a sad story and not think of you. No desolate castle crouching on the horizon, no vine-covered ruin, fails to remind me of you. So bleak, yet so regal, so proud despite all the years.

The fire is starting to warm the house a bit. I think the tea is helping. I hope this finds you well. I think of you often. It's very cold.

1 comment:

Janie-In-Nautilus said...

I pretend I am the keeper of one dark secret.

So I move through the panelled hallways and my eyes are small cups of night in my face, and my long white hands make you suspect that they often pull aside heavy curtains and face some dreadful hidden thing. And though perhaps we both know in our hearts that it is just a pretense, we would never say that. Perhaps it is just that I look so otherworldly in the moonlight with my secret; it would be a shame to expose me.

(But I'm horribly afraid that there truly is a dark secret; one that I have no part in it. The blankets on my canopy bed are thin and white and sometimes I just leave the window open and catch my death. This is the widest country in the world, too narrow to breathe in, and that's a hard secret to learn)