Now we remember: janitors and the night-sellers of bread,
gray, like wrapping paper,
taxi drivers with klaxons instead of hearts,
children who grew up
among the old furniture
(furniture smelled of poplar trees and sea).
Our city of workers and ugly middle-men,
tearjerking market beggars
the autumn fog
with their shouts.
We got to soak in the rain
on tram stops,
old proletarian quirks, subway cars,
we got to soak in the rain
loaded with the unemployed
like magazines with cartridges
. . .
Translated from the Ukrainian by Valzhyna Mort