The Winter Palace from Issue 57
Royal boredom, their egos swollen
to the size of a cavern:
an ornate estrangement from the world.
Great walkers, they had to be,
the carefully planned length
of these golden halls, as though time
were not elusive, but solid, a commodity:
that is what tires her out, wandering through,
knowing how they’d caged themselves.
And the pallid gardens, vast,
yet meagre in detail: perhaps
a gaze so vast could only wax myopic.
A few purple flowers pick at the air.
She watches as he takes another photo of the fountain,
bends low over a shoelace. The thick walls falter,
crumble a little, the gild themselves again.
They will have to speak to one another, eventually:
the return tickets still to be settled, the unadorned journey undertakers.