The knife is ours and the bread is clean.

…from Osip Mandelstam, who has been called one of the most important Russian poets of the 20th century.

“Night Piece”

Come love let us sit together
In the cramped kitchen breathing kerosene.
There’s fuel enough to forget the weather,
The knife is ours and the bread is clean.

Come love let us play the game
Of what to take and when to run,
Of come with me and come what may
And holding hands to hold off the sun.

translated by Christian Wiman

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