Abraham Sutzkever: “Deer at the Red Sea”
DEER AT THE RED SEA
The sunset grew bold: it insisted on staying
in the Red Sea at night, when the innocent pink
young fawns delicately make their way
downhill to the palace of water to drink.
They leave their silken shadows on the shore,
bending to lick the rings of coolness
in the Red Sea, with their long fiddle faces. And there
they are betrothed at last to the silence.
And then–they run away. Rosy flecks
animate the sand. But the sunset deer
stay behind in the water, mournful, and lick
the silence of those that are no longer there.
—Abraham Sutzkever, 1949