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Arseny Tarkovsky, from The Page and the Fire

In Memory of A. A. Akhmatova

I spread and smoothed the snowy sheet,
decapitated grove and glade,
took bitter hops, sweet laurel, made
them nestle down beside your feet.

But April didn't take the seat
of March to watch for truth, to guard
inventories. I've set you out
a marker in a world replete

with tears. Beneath the northern skies
I stand before your bleak and white
uncompromising mountain height

in a black shirt, to my own eyes
a stranger, lost, alone inside
your future, as in paradise.