My Translation of Marina Tsvetaeva’s Cycle “Girlfriend” – Part 2

Illustration: Ladies and a Cat, Louis Icart, 1923
***
Under the plush plaid's tender softness
I lie, remembering last night.
Was it a dream? - Who broke the fortress? -
Who lost the fight?

Again comes bitter rumination,
And suffering hits me anew.
Words can't define this revelation -
Do I love you?

Who was the hunter? - Who - the victim? 
The devil has reversed it all!
What purring, wise Siberian kitten
May now recall?

In that self-willed and fervent duel,
Who held the shield, and who - the sword?
Whose heartbeat - Yours or mine - was cruel,
And raced, and soared?

What - after all - was our story?
What do I long for and regret?
Still wondering: was this my glory?
Or my death-bed?


October 23, 1914

Click to see the original poem

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