Eventually, the searing scandal
Settled into stale history,
Like a sediment in the public mind.
The powerful men the teen bedded—
In vivid tabloid editions,
Like hours of pillow-talk
In the lurid political limelight—
Have exited in their mortal flesh,
A final form of nakedness.
A government fell, a suicide imbibed,
And Ivanov, recalled, evaporated
In the Gulag’s lethal oblivion.
Everything is tell-all, now.
Who mourns corrupted innocence?
Her keen beauty has eroded,
The sheening anthracite hair a null grey—
The ravages of notoriety,
Acidulous gossip, the weight of time—
Though the racy photographs
Are deemed works of high art
By the usual high-placed critics.
She is now an obscure footnote
In a low-key Council flat.
What images well in her sleepscape?
Who is there now to think of her kindly?