‘In your parts…’ (Natalya Gorbanevskaya)

In your parts you still find the musos covered in moss.
They are rarely encountered, but each one wishes them well.
By old age, their flesh is marked by odour’s total loss
or, contrariwise, it gives off a dense and sickening smell.

But they don’t care. They, Petroviches and Paliches, mean
to live not by the nose, but the ear, like a musical workstation,
and in their hands they hold drumsticks that remain unseen
and they are marching to heaven as their destination.

В ваших краях еще уцелели замшелые лабухи.
Редко встречаются, но каждый каждому рад.
К старости плоть утрачивает всякие запахи
или, наоборот, — густой источает смрад.

А им неважно. Они-то, Петровичи, Палычи,
не носом живут, а ухом, как аппарат-самограй,
и в руках у них невидимые барабанные палочки,
и они маршируют — прямым ходом в рай.

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