Yevgeny Yevtushenko

(18 July 1933 / Zima Junction, Siberia)

Don't Disappear


Don't disappear.... By disappearing from me,
you will disappear from yourself,
betraying your own self forever,
and that will be the basest dishonesty.

Don't disappear.... To disappear is so easy.
It's impossible to resurrect one another.
Death drags down too deep.
Death even for a moment is too long.

Don't disappear.... Forget the third shadow.
In love there are only two. There are no thirds.
We both will be pure on Judgment Day,
when the trumpets call us to account.

Don't disappear.... We have redeemed sin.
We both are free of the law, we are sinless.
We are worthy together of the forgiveness of those
whom we have unintentionally wounded.

Don't disappear.... One can disappear in an instant,
but how could we meet later in the centuries ahead?
Is your double possible in the world,
and my double? Only barely in our children.

Don't disappear.... Give me your palm.
I am written on it-this I believe.
What makes one's last love terrible
is that it is not love, but fear of loss.


1987
Translated by Antonina W. Bouis, Albert C. Todd and Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Submitted: Friday, August 17, 2007
Edited: Tuesday, March 29, 2011

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