Until the End of the World

Even on the eve of the end of the world women will go on
Preening in fitting rooms and buying new dresses,
But most importantly high heel pumps, the softest
And most comfortable kind, so they don’t pinch the foot,
Should occasion arise of descending a red carpet
over white marble stairs in leopard patterns of shade
And light down to a sea beach, or over the colored tiles
Of a dance floor to strains of music, a glass of white wine
Cool and misty in the hand, next to a shapely owner
Of bronzed muscles, so yes, nothing is more important
To a sweet and carefree life than pumps and a new dress.
Ah, sighs she, stealthily trying them on at home,
I am such an idiot, these pumps pinch, I’ve again
Bought them one size too small. But that’s OK,
It’s literally for just one night, since tomorrow
Is the end of the world anyway,
And who’s going to need high heel pumps afterwards?

Translated from the Russian by Philip Nikolayev


Maria Galina, poet, writer, critic, and translator, was born in Tver. She writes both literary and science fiction (with ten SF books to her credit); her literary fiction contains a strong element of magical realism. She is the author of the novels  Volchja Zviezda (2004, The Wolf Star ); “Iramification” (2004; Russian version Givi and Shenderovich – award for the best science-fiction/fantasy novel of International Assembly Portal, Kiev, Ukraine, 2005 and Academia Rossica award for the best translation from Russian,  Great Britain, 2009); Malaya Glusha (2009/0; short-list of the Big Book (Bolshaya Kniga) award (2009) and long-list of  Russian Booker Award; Ground Crayfish, 2011, short-list and reader’s choice for the Big Book award-2012, and Autochthons” (2015),  short-list and reader’s choice for the Big Book award, short list for the National Bestseller award). She also has more than ten genre awards in the field of Science Fiction and Fantasy. As a poet she has been awarded with numerous prestigious Russian poetry awards. Galina currently works for Russia’s oldest literary magazine Novy Mir (Moscow) as the deputy governor of the department of literature critique and social problems, and as a columnist.

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