Your glass-cold belly holds
my cheek above the waterline.
The faded zönt* inside
your belly-hole keeps sunlight
from my ears. You smell
like rust and ashes left
that haven’t blown away, of days
when I was reading Milton, drinking
beer and eating pickles with the breeze.
The chairs were different then and leaves
were not yet brown – the jasmine blossom’s
fragrance more pronounced. I wonder
now of Paradise; I had it then
and knew it, plotting to remember
that midsummer at some future time.
And now I do, though to be frank, I guess
it was a different table too.
* spelled зонт in Russian, means umbrella