Sandzar Yanyshev
His sunrise is like a thread,
          Yours, like oil ---
                    She said to the man.

[His tail hangs forward,
          Yours backward ---
                    That's what she didn't say.]

He is the master of impulse,
          You're the master of siege ---
                    She comforted the man.

[He's got spine,
          You, a belly ---
                    That's what she wouldn't say.]

He has a moment,
          You have eternity ---
                    She reminded the man.

[He has the summit,
          You, a plateau ----
                    She said nothing of this.]

He has sand in his boots,
          You have gravel ---
                    She worried for the man.

[He will die in the future,
          You will die in the past ---
                    She held her tongue and sucked on it.]

It was the least she could do.
          It was the most she could do ---
                    True from the start. To the bitter end, true.

--- From Contemporary Russian Poetry:
An Anthology

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