How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter! The joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.

Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor; thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.

Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.

Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.

Oh, God! How beautiful were the white feet of Laurence, that son of London-town …

Hysterical. I am becoming hysterical. I can see the two of them to either side, poor rejected Filippo, and that svelte young Laurence. They are anxious to depart, and I am delaying them. They help me attach the sail – poles, ropes, steel runners – for easy sledging with the wind, for all the dogs have been eaten (and wept over) long since.

Thy breasts are like two huskies that are twins; thy eyes like two black noses.

The virgin of the snows is a whore, a whore. I fucked her back in Melbourne. Is that why she comes back now to tease me and lead me on? The two boys have disappeared again, but no doubt are somewhere back there in the snowy distance. She alone runs on before me, her long red scar again visible, circling and circling her slender waist, the curl of ribs below her pretty clavicles, twin buttocks like jewels, cut-glass goblets full of liquor.

Will she have me again? Her furs, her masks are gone. I follow her through the ivory snows, my horn of plenty, of desire; follow her false dreams of satiety, of heaps of wheat caught up in the raw wind, till they turn back to blizzard, mere dull hoosh.

If it were not for … the maps, the expedition? No, for my two comrades, the red scar, the miracle of the ice, my black – toes? No, for those two cold graves, breasts like two young seals that are twins, I could not go on. If it were not for … the sails, the dogs (all eaten), my porridge of salty tears, snow-bathing boys, skidding to darkness, I should be quite lost. If they did not aid me, I should lie down and die.

If you do not help me, I shall become the ice.

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