Note Found in the Margin of a Poem by Anna Akhmatova

We don’t share a name, but birds come to die at my window, too. We don’t look alike, but my gaze takes off in motionless goodbyes. If only I’d made up my mind to run after what shines just for its own bliss, instead of sitting still, if only I’d been able to skip rope, stumble to the heart of the party. My mask of bones makes the world seem so far away. How guiltless would I need to be to get it back... But here’s where I’m always looking the wrong way, dislodged ear, almost mute, eyeing the suits not cut for me, stale legacies of weariness. Dust will bring us all together—you say—still, my feet fade too soon, helpless at grasping, at tracking down a single sign. They are the fear of all places, slopes, solid ground... Listen, something in this scream is for you—you say—and don’t go looking for what you’ll only glimpse in other eyes.


Night has left the two of us completely blind.