We’re all drunkards here. Harlots.
Joylessly we’re stuck together.
On the walls, scarlet
Flowers, birds of a feather,
Pine for clouds. Your black pipe
Makes strange shapes rise.
I wear my skirt tight
To my slim thighs.
Windows tightly shut.
What’s that? Frost? Thunder?
Did you steal your eyes, I wonder,
From a cautious cat?
O my heart, how you yearn
For your dying hour…
And that woman dancing there
Will eternally burn.
– by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (1 January, 1913)
– from Четки (Rosary, 1914), translation by D. M. Thomas