May I ask?

Attempted Jealousy

What’s it like with another woman –

Simpler? – a flash of the oar! –

Did the memory of me

Soon fade off-shore,

Like the beach of a floating island,

(In the sky – not in the sea!)

Souls, souls! You’ll be sisters,

Not lovers – that’s what you’ll be!

What’s life like with an ordinary

Woman? Now that you’ve dethroned

Your idol (renounced the throne).

Without the divinity?

What’s your life like – occupation –

Shrivelled? Getting up – what’s it like?

What do you pay, poor man,

For endless triviality – the price?

‘I’m through with hysteria, convulsions!

I’ll rent a place, have done!’

What’s it like with a common

Woman, my chosen one?

More suitable and edible –

The food? Boring? – Don’t complain…

What’s it like with an imitation –

You who climbed the holy Mount? A strain?

What’s your life like with a stranger,

A worldly soul. Well? – Is it love?

Like the god’s whip, does shame

Not lash your head from above?

What’s it like – your health –

How is it? How do you sing?

How do you cope, poor man,

With the festering sore of endless conscience?

What’s life like with a marketable

Purchase? The price – terrible?

What’s it like with crumbling plaster of Paris

After the finest Carrara marble?

(The Goddess made from stone –

And smashed to bits!)

What’s your life like with one of millions,

You, who’ve known Lilith?

Does the marketable purchase meet

Your needs? Now magic’s dead,

What’s your life like with a mortal

Woman, neither using the sixth sense?

Well, swear, are you happy, then?

No? What’s your life like in a pit

With no depth, my love? Harder,

Or just like mine with another man?

19th November 1924

-Marina Tsvetaeva

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