I'm an
I'm an angel

I've stopped drinking.
                               I love my wife.
My own wife ---
                     I insist on this.
Living so like an angel,
I almost quote Shchipachev.
This is a shriveled life.
I've shut my eyes to all other women.
My shoulders feel peculiar.
                     Wings must be sprouting!
This makes me anxious.
And the wings keep sprouting --- what a nuisance!
                                                   How awkward!
Now I'll have to slit
my jacket in appropriate places.
A true angel,
                           I bear life no grudge
for all its cruel hurts.
I'm a true angel.
                           But I still smoke.
I'm the smoking type.
To be an angel
                     is strange work.
Pure spirit.
               Not an ounce of flesh.
And the women pass by.
A true angel,
                       what good to them am I!
I don't count for the present,
not while I hold celestial rank,
but --- bear in mind --- in this life,
a fallen angel
                         is the worst devil of all!

--- Yevgeny Yevtushenko
George Reavey, Translator
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