by Boris Pasternak
Life returned with a cause-the way
Some strange chance once interrupted it.
Just as on that distant summer day,
I am standing in the same old street.
People are the same, and people's worries,
And the sunset's still a fireball,
Just the way death's night once in a hurry
Nailed it to the ancient mansion's wall.
Women, in the same cheap clothes attired,
Are still wearing down their shoes at night.
Afterwards, against the roofing iron
They are by the garrets crucified.
Here is one of them. She looks so weary
As she steps across the threshold, and
Rising from the basement, drab and dreary,
Walks across the courtyard on a slant.
And again I'm ready with excuses,
And again it's all the same to me.
And the neighbour in the backyard pauses,
Then goes out of sight, and leaves us be.
Don't cry, do not purse your lips up,
They're puffy as it is, dear.
Mind you don't break the drying scab
Of smouldering spring fever.
Your hand is on my breast. Let go!
We are like two live wires.
If we aren't careful, we'll be thrown
The years will pass, you'll marry yet
And you'll forget this squalor.
To be a woman is a feat,
To drive men mad, that's valour.
And as for me, I've been in thrall
For ages-begged like alms,
And worshipped the great miracle
Of woman's neck, back, arms.
Though bound tight, at the end of day,
By the anguished darkness' loop,
I'm ever lured to get away-
I long to break things up.
Last updated January 14, 2019