To Anna Akhmatova
Today you seemed to me
a Black Angel in snow,
and I can't keep this secret to myself:
God's seal is on you.
So strange a seal—
that you seem supposed to stand
in a church, in a niche.
May it be that love not of this earth
and love of this earth will mix,
may it be that storm-blood
will not run into your cheeks,
and magnificent marble will set off
all the deceptions of these rags,
all the nakedness of your softest flesh,
but not your blushing cheeks.