Πέμπτη, 6 Σεπτεμβρίου 2012

Vera Pavlova -- If there is something to desire









1.
If there is something to desire,
there will be something to regret.
If there is something to regret,
there will be something to recall.
If there is something to recall,
there was nothing to regret.
If there was nothing to regret,
there was nothing to desire.
2.
Let us touch each other
while we still have hands,
palms, forearms, elbows . . .
Let us love each other for misery,
torture each other, torment,
disfigure, maim,
to remember better,
to part with less pain.
3.
We are rich: we have nothing to lose.
We are old: we have nowhere to rush.
We shall fluff the pillows of the past,
poke the embers of the days to come,
talk about what means the most,
as the indolent daylight fades.
We shall lay to rest our undying dead:
I shall bury you, you will bury me.
4.
Am I lovely? Of course!
Breathlessly I taste
the subtle compliment
of a handmade caress.
Chop me into tiny bits,
caress and tame my soul,
that godly swallow
you love to no end.
5.
I am in love, hence free to live
by heart, to ad lib as I caress.
A soul is light when full,
heavy when vacuous.
My soul is light. She is not afraid
to dance the agony alone,
for I was born wearing your shirt,
will come from the dead with that shirt on.
6.
Those who are asleep in the earth
have an avian sense of the way.
Gone, they sleep with shoes on,
ready to rise and go
to the pink, dispensable,
barefooted insomniacs
who had laced up for them
the last pair of shoes.
7.
To converse with the greats
by trying their blindfolds on;
to correspond with books
by rewriting them;
to edit holy edicts,
and at the midnight hour
to talk with the clock by tapping a wall
in the solitary confinement of the universe.
8.
When the very last grief
deadens all our pain,
I will follow you there
on the very next train,
not because I lack strength
to ponder the end result,
but maybe you forgot to bring
pills, a necktie, razor blades . . .
9.
He marked the page with a match
and fell asleep in mid-kiss,
while I, a queen bee
in a disturbed hive, stay up and buzz:
half a kingdom for a honey drop,
half a lifetime for a tender word!
His face, half turned.
Half past midnight. Half past one.
10.
Multiplying in a column M by F
do we get one or two as a result?
May the body stay glued to the soul,
may the soul fear the body.
Do I ask too much? I only wish
the crucible of tenderness would melt
memories, and I would sleep, my cheek
pressed against your back, as on a motorbike . . .
11.
Only she who has breast-fed
knows how beautiful the ear is.
Only they who have been breast-fed
know the beauty of the clavicle.
Only to humans the Creator
has given the earlobe.
The humans, through clavicles
slightly resembling birds,
entwined in caresses fly
to the place at night where,
rocking the cradle of cradles,
the babe is wailing,
where on a pillow of air
the stars nestle like toys.
And some of them speak.
12.
I think it will be winter when he comes.
From the unbearable whiteness of the road
a dot will emerge, so black that eyes will blur,
and it will be approaching for a long, long time,
making his absence commensurate with his coming,
and for a long, long time it will remain a dot.
A speck of dust? A burning in the eye? And snow,
there will be nothing else but snow,
and for a long, long while there will be nothing,
and he will pull away the snowy curtain,
he will acquire size and three dimensions,
he will keep coming closer, closer . . .
This is the limit, he cannot get closer. But he keeps approaching,
now too vast to measure . . .
(All Poems Translated, from the Russian, by Steven Seymour.)