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Somewhere beyond the wastes of Nizhny Novgorod
in enveloping white, the farthest reaches of night,
a train rattles on through heights and depths
with passengers lost to perspective journeying
through life to death. How many time zones
around half the world will stretch, while the other half
won’t notice, can’t imagine the purity of darkness
as catalogues of light fill volumes of the sky
with specific clouds of gas, named and numbered
dwarfs and giants visible from London, Siberia,
anywhere the hemisphere affords a sight?
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History says it’s not the place to be.
Modernity – the same. But some say you’re safe
with a complimentary ushanka and sheltered harbour.
How do you feel about a tournament here
losing bidders, football lovers, superpowers?
No need to ask which emotional state is right
when many attend and co-exist in resorts
or temporary villages while distant veteran
Panini buyers form swapping collectives,
consortia against profit, the building costs
of the packets and a final balance to settle the album.