Your name is a–bird in my hand


Your name is a–bird in my hand,
a piece of ice on my tongue.
The lips' quick opening.
Your name–five letters.
A ball caught in flight,
a silver bell in my mouth.

A stone thrown into a silent lake
is–the sound of your name.
The light click of hooves at night
–your name.
Your name at my temple
–shrill click of a cocked gun.

Your name–impossible–
kiss on my eyes,
the chill of closed eyelids.
Your name–a kiss of snow.
Blue gulp of icy spring water.
With your name–sleep deepens.


  --from Poems to Bloch
     Russian, trans. Jean Valentine
          & Ilya Kaminsky


Marina Tsvetaeva, Russian, trans. Jean Valentine & Ilya Kaminsky, 2009.