We have not divided you and not been affectionate, And what we loved - that is left behind. I carry in my soul your gleaming image, Valya, And Lyosha had your image pricked on his chest. And on that day we said farewelll at the station, I promised you to remember you till the grave, - I said: I shall never in my life forget Valya! - And I especially, - Lyosha answered me. And now decide, who of us is worse, And for whom it is more difficult - just try to tear up old wounds: He has your profile pricked outside, And I have - my soul pricked inside. And when I already feel wretched, as on the scaffold, - May my words not insult you, - I beg, that Lyosha undo his shirt, And I look, look for hours at you. But recently my comrade, a good friend, Has defeated my misfortune, - He copied you from Lyosha’s chest And pricked your profile on my chest. I know, to slander one’s friends is embarrassing, But you are close to me and naturally because, That my, most probably - your tattooing Is much better and more beautiful than his.
© Elisabeth Jelinek. Translation, 2018