by Andrei Voznesensky
trans. by Richard Wilbur
Now, with your palms on the blades of my shoulders,
let us embrace:
Let there be only your lips' breath on my face,
Only, behind our backs, the plunge of rollers.
Our backs, which like two shells in moonlight shine,
Are shut behind us now;
We lie here huddled, listening brow to brow,
Like life's twin formula or double sign.
In folly's world-wide wind
Our shoulders shield from the weather
The calm we now beget together,
Like a flame held between hand and hand.
Does each cell have a soul within it?
If so, fling open all your little doors,
And all your souls shall flutter like the linnet
In the cages of my pores.
Nothing is hidden that shall not be known.
Yet by no storm of scorn shall we
Be pried from this embrace, and left alone
Like muted shells forgetfull of the sea.
Meanwhile, O load of stress and bother,
Lie on the shells of our backs in a great heap:
It will press us closer, one to the other.
We are asleep.