We didnít share you, we didnít caress you, Tonya, And that we loved you, that was for the best. Inside my soul I carry your dear portrait, And Lyosha pinned your image on his chest. At the station we said goodbyes and there I promised To remember you as long as I still live. Then I said: "In my life I wonít forget my Tonya." "Nor will I," Alyósha promptly answered me. Now you decide yourself for whom of us itís harder, And for whom of us itís now easier to live. Your bright image was pierced and decorates my partner, And my soul is pierced and stabbed inside of me. And when I feel downhearted, sickened to my stomach, - Please, donít be offended by these words of mine, - I ask Alyosha to unbutton his shirtís collar, And then I look at you for hours at a time. But recently my comrade, my good buddy, He bested my misfortune with his art. He copied your profile from Lyoshaís body, And pinned you on my chest right near my heart. Yes, I know itís a shame when friends are blackened, But you are closer to me because of this: My tattoo, or rather your tattoo, is better, Is more prettier and beautiful than his.
© Kirill Tolmachev. Translation, 2022