Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova

(untitled and from 1940, around the time of Mikhail Bulgakov’s death)

When a man dies
His portraits change.
His eyes look at you
Differently and his lips smile
A different smile. I noticed this
Returning from a poet’s funeral.
Since then I have seen it verified
Often and my theory is true.

(translated by D.M. Thomas)