I wrote this at the beginning of April but never published it due to Internet problems. Today we finally had the first hot weather of the season, with a daytime temperature around 20 degrees Celsius.
Yesterday at about 7:30 p.m. the sun emerged from behind the clouds in the tentative glory of early spring.
Under Liteyniy Bridge was the breaking point, the place where the ice of winter held an ultimately untenable front against the waters of the Neva, which were rippling out from beneath the flaking ice floe like swarming wraiths. Huge chunks sprouted outward like a mangled overbite where the face of the ice mass had been driven into the pylons of the bridge.
A toy water pistol floated by. I ripped up a chunk as big as a chestplate and threw it into the lazy current, which swept it away toward the Gulf of Finland. The sun was low to the west, aligned to the left of the spire of Peter-and-Paul Fortress in a perfect astrological hieroglyphic. Divined was the coming of spring …
The sun disappeared behind a cloud in a moment analogous to that which Tsoi described 20 years ago: “Clouds swim over the city / closing off a celestial light / And over the city a yellow smoke / City of two thousand years …”
I realized I have to stay in St. Petersburg for the summer, to fulfill the promise that shimmered for a brief moment above Peter-and-Paul, then broke and rolled back.