Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2016 v15n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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translation from Russian by Rainie Oet

[Our Passion’s still carefree, still young]
December 26, 1932

Our Passion’s still carefree, still young,
still hasn’t cut her teeth,—
she isn’t vodka, nor spirits, but she’s no longer water—
she’s a bubbly, rakish, chiming Asti.

You don’t know yet to turn pale when I’m close,
your pupil doesn’t fill your whole eye yet,
but I know the spell I’ve placed you in
is stronger than Kashin or Kashira.

Oh, where’s that small town lost in the gardens
(maybe it’s not even on the map?),
toward which my dream is sprinting
in some sixteen-year-old passion?

Where’s the jasmined house, with its open night,
and above us, hops, in their curling arches,
and a thirst that can’t be helped,
and the sky, and the sky more romantic than Petrarch’s sky!

On the eve of my last or my next-to-last spring
—oh, how late our meeting finally came!—
with you, I dream madcap dreams,
in a crazy, magic fire I burn up my own twilight!  

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