I’ll run around in the dark street’s gypsy camp,
behind a branch of bird-cherry on a black coach with springs,
chasing a hood of show, the eternal, the mill-wheel turning…
All I remember is the chestnut hair that never fired,
smoking, bitter - no, ant-like sour;
my lips retain an amber dryness.
Even air seems hazel to me, in those moments,
and the eyes’ inner ring is fringed with bright braid,
and what I know of pink apple-skin…
But the cab runners creaked on,
prickly stars stared through the matting,
hooves beat over frozen keys, beat in shifts.
And all the light there is-is in the prickly, starry untruth,
and life floats by like foam on a theatrical hood,
and there’s no one to tell: ‘’From the dark street’s gypsy camp…’’
Osip Mandelstam, 1925.
Translated by Burton Raffel and Alla Burago, 1973.
Lisa Osina (b.1993) lives and works in Kiev, Ukraine.