I eat buckwheat on the steps
of Peter’s palace. Peasants’ food,

a woman in the marshrutka consumes
raspberries on a tiny metal fork one by one.

I nap on a rounded topiary. She pierces
an apricot with a carving knife.

I’m a sucker for lavish fountains,
and shitting in opulent palaces.

Workers clean the vomit on the parquet floor.
A boy passes by with a bleeding schnozzle.

A kid with an eyepatch ogles the aviary.
It is a tourist’s mission to photograph

all 144 fountains interspersed with WC.
It is a sickness, this luxury.

I opted against riding the meteors,
hydrofoil skipping on water as workers

in camo pound mallets into turf.


Cassidy McFadzean is the author of Hacker Packer (McClelland & Stewart 2015), which was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Her new book is Drolleries (M&S 2019).