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Russian Christmas, Rue Daru

everyone wears a second piece of clothing
                  to refract the heat of separate bodies
the first piece of clothing concentrates the colors
                  forbidden elsewhere in similar places
the white makes it last longer
                  the orange and the red blaze
in the melting-pot where the bodies seem to be swallowed up
the incense smoke doubles in intensity
our gazes cross like ping-pong balls
hammer a table on the point of burning
we enter and leave without letup
the others embrace for the first dance of the year
the candles raise this pyramid placed over the void


(translation © James Brook)