to Elena Shvarts
by Alexander Mironov
When You in St. Peter’s Basilica
Put out a candle
Which is like the sword of pagan Saul,
So hot a candle,
Quick – eyed as an artificial fire
I’m thinking — am I raving or the horse
That lost You forever
Or just for some period ad infinitum,
And again — toward ending . . .
Whatever happens I promise to endeavor
And twirl the death inside
Me and address to You.
Translated from Russian by Aleksey Porvin and Tony Brinkley.