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We ate ice cream from tiny paper cups,
standing in the snow,
facing the wind
on Nevsky Prospect.

That was after you taught me
to hitchhike--
we thumbed a ride to the Mariinsky;
I pretended to be deaf
so that we could pay in Rubles.

That was after we watched
the painted little girls and boys
dance the Merengue
in the local semifinals.

After you spent all night
teaching me to say "camel" in Russian.

After I told you how "Santa Barbara" would end.

By then I knew enough
about being cold
to get by.

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