3. after "Imitation of I. F. Annensky," a poem by Anna Akhmatova:
Imitation of A. Akhmatova
And from you, my faux mother,
I turned my face. Sixteen was coming true.
You said vaguely: “You’re taking risks.”
And from then I couldn’t abide you.
Guardians take hold, set loose again,
Fond today and tomorrow freeing.
Why did I veer so wildly
to and from asylum?
Still the prison door swings wide—
No sign of bars. And here I stall.
It’s as if since my gesture of denial,
The woman has never left my side.
Oh, whoever said that a heart finds succour,
told it true: comfort is to take . . .
I’ll never comprehend, did she tithe me this
Or did she need me, too?