by F.J. Bergmann
Meet and Marry a Gorgeous Russian Queen—a spam subject lineTo win her, you must learn the languageof birds. You Google to find out just what kindsof birds migrate between here and Siberia.You will build her a crystal castle of salt,dried from pure, sweet tears that you weptin disappointment over celebrity pornviruses and fraudulent penis extenders.Even on the paid matrimonial websites,she is the only truth shining among thousandsof false promises like a genuine gold crownsurrounded by rhinestone tiaras—or a shark’smouthful of yellowing teeth—and she looksdamn good in those dollar-store bras she boughtwith the money you sent her for airfare.Each successive e-mail has an explanationfor why she still doesn’t have enough for the visa,like an egg you crack open to find another eggenclosing still-smaller eggs. The final eggis Fabergé, with a jeweled window where you lookinside to see a little cottage with a tiny gardenand a couple holding hands. She has a doctoratein chemical engineering but you assure heryou are completely, totally healthy and drug-and alcohol-free. Anyway, she’ll never knowif you’re careful to always undress in the dark.She can cook anything, as long as it’s not lentils,and you promise she won’t need to cook.You plan to treat her to McDonald’s at least twicea week and you’ve got a whole case of ramennoodles left over from the Y2K stash. You evenhauled last year’s Xmas tree to the curb, adornedthe mailbox with plastic flowers, and sweptthe sidewalk in front of the house every dayfor a year in anticipation of her arrival.You decide not to tell her about the foreclosureuntil she’s gotten used to the place a little more.She steps down from her hut on chicken legswith a faintly amused smile, as it crouchesto take a crap in the next-door neighbor’s yard.She looks something like her
photographand you are beginning to wish you’d changed—or at least washed—your I’m
With Stupid t-shirt.“Hi there,” you say,
with a bashful grin. Her accentis
adorable but a bit difficult to understand.She is saying something about deception; or, morelikely, conception: women always want kids. Andsomething about Las Vegas, and—you’re prettysure about this one—getting a gift horse.