***

That's how I am. I could wish for you someone other,
Better.
I trade in happiness no longer . . .
Charlatans, pushers at the sales! . . .
We stayed peacefully in Sochi,
Such nights, there, came to me,
And I kept hearing such bells!
Over Asia were spring mists, and
Tulips were carpeting with brilliance
Several hundreds of miles.
O, what can I do with this cleanness,
This simple untaintable scene ? O,
What can I do with these souls!
I could never become a spectator.
I'd push myself, sooner or later,
Through every prohibited gate.
Healer of tender hurts, other women's
Husbands' sincerest
Friend, disconsolate
Widow of many. No wonder
I've a grey crown, and my sun-burn
Frightens the people I pass.
Butlike herI shall have to part with
My arrogancelike Marina the martyr
I too must drink of emptiness.
You will come under a black mantle,
With a green and terrible candle,
Screening your face from my sight . . .
Soon the puzzle will be over:
Whose hand is in the white glove, or
Who sent the guest who calls by night.

1942, Tashkent

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