Susan Smith Nash



Cool summer rain in St. Petersburg,

moist hopes clinging to legs like a “chick flick”

that sensitized state

lasting only long enough to be aware that,

yes, something else is possible.


Summer on the edge of a canal to the Neva River

smells of infinitude and continuity,

their smooth waters like walls erected by the mind

no longer attracted to metonymy –


Only the concrete will suffice.


A leg smoothed down with oils;

a sandal sherbet-bright;

cut-out patent flowers pushing into the toes;

an amber pump, subtle in spite of itself;

strolling alongside

the gold-leaf icons of the orthodox church

glittering like beads and shared needles.


New Russia, old Russia?


A slender leg,

terminating in thin straps

an impossible heel; or,

a narrow foot,

cloaked in modest leather?


And then,

the motion of legs,

an outrageous dream lasting only long enough

to be aware that “awake”

is merely one of many states.


Today I buy colored stones

as if they were amber

or the past reborn.