Osip Mandelstam


I have studied the science of leaving
in night’s unbraided sorrows.
Oxen ruminate—the waiting lingers to the final
hour of the city’s vigil—and I honor rituals
from that other night—the rooster crowing—
under the weight of journey’s sadness,
the tear-stained eyes raised, gazing at the distance,
a woman grieving mingled with the muses’ singing.
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