Vladimir Mayakovsky


But could you?

I blurred at once the chart of trite routine
by splashing paint with one swift motion.
I showed upon a plate of brawny glutin
the slanting cheekbones of the ocean
Upon the scales of tinny fishes
new lips summoned, though yet mute.
But could you
play
right to the finish
a nocturne on a drainpipe flute?

Listen!

Listen,
if stars are lit
it means — there is someone who needs it.
It means — someone wants them to be,
that someone deems those specks of spit
magnificent.
And overwrought,
in the swirls of afternoon dust,
he bursts in on God,
afraid he might be already late.
In tears,
he kisses God's sinewy hand
and begs him to guarantee
that there will definitely be a star.
He swears
he won't be able to stand that starless ordeal.
Later,
He wanders around, worried,
but outwardly calm.
And to everyone else, he says:
'Now,
it's all right.
You are no longer afraid,
are you?'
Listen,
if stars are lit,
it means — there is someone who needs it.
It means it is essential
that every evening
at least one star should ascend
over the crest of the building.