|From the book Stellae and Inscriptions|
To Nina Braginskaya
who has studied antique epitaphs, and much else, insightfully
|The Figure of a Woman|
| Having turned away, |
She stands in a large
and voluminous shawl. It seems there’s a poplar
next to her. It seems that way. There’s no poplar.
But she would be willing to turn into one
just like in the legend –
if only not to hear:
– What do you see there?
– What do I see, you lunatic people?
I see the wide-open sea. That’s easy to guess…
The sea and that’s all.
Or is that too little,
for me to eternally grieve, while your curiosity’s piqued?
In a long wide veil
she stands, turning her face
away: that looks like a poplar
looks deceive; there is no poplar there.
But she herself would gladly become one,
as the old legends have it,
if she could only stop hearing:
– What can you see there?
– What can I see there, you madmen?
The ocean, can you not guess?
The ocean, and nothing more. Or is this not enough,
that I should be grieving for ever, and you
pestering me with your questions?
| ||The Figure of a Woman|