Ýowşan Annagurban

I know that man

I know that man,
who looks at alcohol bottles in a vitrine,
I see him through his back,
as if I was standing in front of him,
I can read the emptiness in his eyes,
the thirst, as if he had been lost for years in the Garagum desert,
I knew those men, whose ancestors had been defeated,
whose land was occupied,
since then, as it were the only way,
many were alcohol addicted,
who always had a bit less money,
who always needed someone to join them,
you may consider yourself lucky,
if you didn't know that life, oh men!

I knew them,
I was there too,
I had worked with them,
when I had some extra money,
when I got my royalties,
I had bought for them some drinks,
so I listened to their stories many times,
when they were penniless or a little bit drunk,
they never wanted to go home,
to their mothers or beloved wives,
and the alcohol was an easy or the only solution,
but while they were drinking,
when it was possible to enjoy your time,
they could forget the Communist Party,
or crack jokes about it,
for treating them like a shit.

They knew what had happened to them,
what happened to their ancestors,
to their history or traditions,
they didn't belong to the Komsomol,
they didn't love Uncle Lenin at all,
but they had no alternatives,
even a ball to play football.

I know how they lived their lives,
some managed to stop drinking,
some passed away struggling,
asking for a last drink on their deathbed,
trying to forget the realities before their departure,
and when one had his last glass of vodka,
his forehead was covered with drops of sweat,
it was not a life, but a too-long-lived torture.

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