Anna’s Love Note

It is probably not wise
to write poems to dead women.
The living are trouble enough.
But only cowards and wise men
try to avoid trouble.
So here I am
A poor poet and a bad philosopher
professing to you my love.
And please know
I am not one of those men
Who tries to find himself
in the greatness and beauty of others.
But it is not my fault
that you are beautiful and great.
It is only my fault that I found you.
For that I will take the blame.
Although, of course,
In the way of such things
It was another fair one
who passed me the love note
You wrote –
“Let him not desire my eyes,
Prophetic and fixed.
He will get a whole lifetime of poems,
The prayer of my arrogant lips.”
Kiss me Anna.
Please, please kiss me.
I am all puckered up.

Love note from Anna Akhmatova
Passed to me by Judith Hemschemeyer