Song Under the Bullet
We are so bound up in discord
The centuries cannot disentangle us—
I’m a warlock, you’re a wolf. We’re close
In the continuous dictionary of earth.
Shoulder to shoulder, like the blind,
And led along by destiny,
In the undying dictionary of this country
We’re both condemned to die.
When we sing this Russian song
We trade our kindred blood in drops
And I become your night prey.
This is why we exist, wolf and warlock.
The snow smells sweet as a slaughterhouse
And not a single star shines above the steppe.
Old one, there’s still time to get your face
Broken in two by a lead-tipped whip.
A German machinegunner will shoot me in the road, or
An incendiary bomb will break my legs, or
An SS-kid will give me a bullet in the gut.
In any case, on this front, they’ve got me covered.
Without my name, or glory, or even boots,
With frozen eyes I’ll gaze at the snow, blood-colored.