by Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996)
-- translated from the Russian by
Tatyana Amelina and Harry Thomas
You know, I try, when darkness falls,
to estimate to some degree —
by marking off the grief in miles —
the distance now from you to me.
And all the figures change to words:
confusion, which begins at A,
and hope, which starts at B, move towards
a terminus (you) far away.
Two travelers, each one with a light,
move in the darkness, silent, dumb.
The distance multiplies all night.
They count on meeting in the sum.