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to Valentina Serova

With glass a thousand miles thick
Parting has glazed the windows of your flat;
And I look through, as from another world,
But not a sound is audible through that.

I see you pass and sit down by the window.
You smile at someone; you get up unheard.
You speak. Of what? Perhaps you speak of me?
No good! I cannot hear a single word!

How painful, how impossible it is -
That separation makes us deaf and dumb!
Or could it be that distance justifies
The actual gulf between us that has come?

Remember how we cleared the air that night?
It seemed, perhaps, a new and honest start!
And then - the glass. And just the moving lips..
And now I cannot even hear your heart!

1946

Konstantin Simonov