‘I’ll erase this day from your memory,’

by Anna Akhmatova

I’ll erase this day from your memory,
So your vague helpless gaze will ask
Where you saw Persian lilac,
Swallows, and this wooden house.

Oh, how often you’ll remember
The sudden pain of unnamed longing,
And in townships seek in dream
For a street that isn’t on the map!

At the sight of every chance letter,
When a voice sounds from an open door,
You’ll think: ‘It’s she, who’s here
Bringing help to the non-believer.’