Expensive – Joseph Brodsky

M. B.

Expensive, I left the house late tonight
get some fresh air, blowing from the ocean.
The sunset was burning down in the parterre with a Chinese fan,
and the cloud swirled, like a concert piano cover.

A quarter of a century ago, you were addicted to Lula and dates,
drew with ink in a notebook, sang a little,
had fun with me; but then I got along with a chemical engineer
and, judging by the letters, miraculously stupid.

Now you are seen in churches in the provinces and in the metropolis
at memorial services for mutual friends, going now in full
successive; and I'm glad, that there are more distances in the world
unthinkable, than between you and me.

Do not misunderstand me. With your voice, body, name
nothing is connected anymore; nobody destroyed them,
but forget one life - a person needs, least,
one more life. And I lived this share.

Lucky you too: where else, except maybe photos,
you will always be without wrinkles, young, весела, mocking?
For the time, faced with memory, learns about his lack of rights.
I smoke in the dark and breathe in the rot of the ebb.

1989

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Anna Akhmatova