Violet Grigoryan. Poems translated into English by Marine Petrossian. Armenian P.E.N. Centre Almanac, 2001



What a harsh winter, my beloved,   
love me thoroughly, love my body cell by cell,   
find a cave for me,   
decorate it with beautiful, exotic things, 
with marvelous pottery and fanciful carpets,   
buy warm and fine clothes for me,   
bring fresh meat and grill it,   
we’ll devour it together, we’ll talk our mouths full,   
unable to understand any word, we’ll laugh, our chins covered with dripping...   
we’ll be happy, my beloved.   
Maybe this is my final winter,   
Maybe I’ll not see the trees in blossom this April,   
(Only will they blossom this April, my beloved?).   
Love me the way they make love overseas, 
in seaside towns smelling of salt, in icy isles of North, or in South - 
in countries of scorching sun, peculiar spices and fantastic birds. 
Love me the way they do it in Paris or Egypt - 
with splendid ease, with sweet slowness, 
love me the way they love yashmak-wearing women in nowadays Tehran - 
with violent jealousy, 
whisper in my ear gentle words in Japanese... 
Maybe this is my final winter, 
Maybe I’ll not see the birds of passage coming back, 
(Only will they come back this time, my beloved?)... 
If you ask me, I’ll bear for you a baby-girl in a month or two, 
I can do that, 
she’ll come out of me like a ship out of narrow gulf, 
she’ll drift out to you, to the high seas of your love, 
a baby-girl with colored feathers, an outlandish fruit, 
a dark skinned Egyptian prattling in Japanese, 
and we’ll be happy, my beloved.
Love me, feed me and make me warm,
else I’ll croak, my beloved,
and if I don’t croak, I’ll see
the trees blossom this April,
the beautiful birds of passage coming back
(sure, they will come back, in spite of all).
No sooner I see the first blossom, my beloved,
no sooner I hear the first bird twitter,
I’ll leave you and my baby and my cave,
I’ll leave you and go far away,
don’t try to stop me, my beloved...