The old Russian spits up a plum
fruit of the rasping sound
he has stored in his throat
all these lonely years
made in fact lonely by his wife
who left him, God knows
without knowing how to cook for himself.
He examines the plum
notes its purplish consistency
almost the color and shape of her buttocks
whose circulation was bad
which is why he himself wears a beret:
black, good wool, certainly warm enough
the times he remembers.