I like the fact that you’re not mad about me,
I like the fact that I’m not mad for you,
And that the globe of planet earth is grounded
And will not drift away beneath our shoes.
I like the fact that I can laugh here loudly,
Not play with words, feel unabashed and loose,
And never flush with stifling waves above me
When we brush sleeves, and not seek an excuse.
I like the fact that you don’t feel ashamed
As you, before my eyes, embrace another,
I like the fact that I will not be damned
To hell for kissing someone else with ardor,
That you would never use my tender name
In vain, that in the silence of the church’s towers,
We’ll never get to hear the sweet refrain
Of hallelujahs sung somewhere above us.
With both my heart and hand, I thank you proudly
For everything, - although you hardly knew
You loved me so: and for my sleeping soundly,
And for the lack of twilight rendezvous,
No moonlit walks with your two arms around me,
No sun above our heads or skies of blue,
For never feeling - sadly! - mad about me,
For me not feeling - sadly! - mad for you.
May 3, 1915
By Marina Tsvetaeva
Translation by Andrey Kneller
“I like the fact…”: This poem is
dedicated to M. A. Mintz (1886 - 1917), who later became the husband of Marina
Tsvetaeva’s sister, Anastasia.