Andrei Voznesensky

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Poem

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Translated by Daniel Weissbort
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Answer me!

What’s the matter? Here, whisper it in my ear.

Atavism?..
Or perhaps – soul cancer.
To the world’s best woman,

to its most full of youth

ill-fortune came.

And she was gentle,
Her eyes held a Fayum sparkle.

She rode motorbikes,

crouched over them, plunged in them

Like a barb
Stuck in a raging, bellowing boar!

She starts from the dacha,

with its big cars and roughshaven men.

There comes the surrender
Of her most pure frontiers.

And then a crash,

eyes weighed under, puffy as a nimbus.

And someone’s frail, mouse-like paws
Sticking like oil-cloth.

Autumn flakes brick

over the garden.

A man falls asleep, cries out in the night!
Something is crushing her slender shoulders –

the night does not assuage!

The dacha

pounds

the prisoner

like a tartar stage.

© Zoya Boguslavskaya.