I want to tell you simple truths,
Reveal important things to you.
Always open doors, step into elevators,
Go upstairs, move down corridors.
Always get into cars, start the engine,
And if it's winter, wait until it warms up.
Always spend money, but sparingly,
And only once in a while spend everything you've got.
In summer it will be summer; in fall it will be fall,
Don't get flustered; don't do anything that disgusts you.
Girls will become young women, and then you'll notice them
Crossing the street holding little kids' hands.
Men will somberly weigh the options
But then act according to circumstances, often making mistakes.
Governments are made to fall;
Ships – to glide beneath bridges.
All the same, the lights on the other side of the river
Will never – imagine that – never go out.
Still, if they do, pack your bag –
Only the essentials – and leave the city immediately.
When you arrive in a new place, look around, lean against a tree;
You can light up – if you smoke – stand around, think.
You see, here too in the evening they drink tea and in the morning, coffee.
Blame the mayor and wait for things to get better.
And if there is a river and you see lights on the other side,
That's something to cling to.
Translation from the Russian
By Kevin M. F. Platt, Bob Perelman, and Julia Bloch