Here, in the ideal post-revolutionary state,
one does not simply fall in love with Katya.
stumbling across the cobblestone streets carrying disintegrating roses,
straighten up and lose that stupid smile
before the gendarmes make their hourly pass.
Katya is the perfect and ultimate expression
of our national ambition.
Tell me, which would you--would anyone!--
rather watch pass by....
a thousand rumbling tanks with their idiot erections,
or Katya, with her smooth, slender outstretched arms?
Night and day, noble workers tend the fields
where they grow the million blooms which shall adorn her in a single week.
As a people, we have dispensed with severe, bearded gods
hovering somewhere in the sky,
and replaced them with Katya, late of Odessa, now our symbol, our pride!
Oh go, ahead.
Float, giddy and love-retarded, to the stone steps of the appropriate bureau.
Fill out the lengthy forms,
sit through the interminable classes,
and then wait in your disgusting hovel for six to eight weeks.
Imagine the moment
when, in your unsteady hands you hold the response,
the long-awaited summary denial of your application to love Katya.
Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
And what next?
Let's go to the glorious state-controlled theater
and while they put on some skull-crackingly dull film or opera,
I will trace my tongue along your salt-stained lips,
as easy as a gull gliding along the wharves.
jewel and treasured port city,
is as empty now as you are.
Kiss me back.
What the hell!
Everyone loves Katya--men, women, babies, cats and rose bushes,
they're all silly over her.
Pretend you are a Czarist-era poet of some high degree,
and scribble something right now, for yourself, for me!
I involve no tedious mandated process,
no cooling of your heels by the mailbox for months.
Here, in our nook of creaking seats,
we can make our own opera,
and if not perfect, then, at least, immediate,
and as combustible as the Balkans.
The line "Why so pale and wan, fond lover?" is, of course, from the poem of the same name written by Sir John Suckling, and can be found HERE.