I didn’t want to go to Leningrad
but he swore to me the beauty of it all
stark against the snow,
and as I saw the red against his cheek shimmer
I agreed to go.

The plane ride there was long and perilous,
The check in at customs long and tedious,
and then a cab ride,
and then the snow—

And to this day
I never regret
my pilgrimage there
into the silent heart of
memory’s icy breast.