A Polar Explorer
All the huskies are eaten. There is no space
left in the diary. And the beads of quick
words scatter over his spouse’s sepia-shaded face
adding the date in question like a mole to her lovely cheek.
Next, the snapshot of his sister. He doesn’t spare his kin:
what’s been reached is the highest possible latitude!
And, like the silk stocking of a burlesque half-nude
queen, it climbs up his thigh: gangrene.
—Joseph Brodsky, from To Urania (The Noonday Press, 1988)