Fire the stones to heat the bathhouse with clean, white steam; Iíve missed civilised ways for so long. Heat will fill me and as I feel it smother me Burning steam will unravel my tongue. Fire the stones to heat my bath, my good landlady, Iíll be perched on the uppermost shelf. Iíll grow white hot and feel the heat invading me And Iíll kill all my doubts in myself. I shall melt to the point of insanity - Splash cold water and the past is all through; From the days of the cult of personality On my left breast shines blue a tattoo. Fire the stones to heat the bathhouse with clean, white steam; Iíve missed civilised ways for so long. Heat will fill me and as I feel it smother me Burning steam will unravel my tongue. How much forest and faith has been swept aside? How much exile and suffering been borne? On my left breast Joe Stalinís looking to the right Where Marinkaís half-profile is drawn. Oh I earned with my faith so unshakeable Many years worth of blessed relief And a life where the darkís inescapable Was the price of my stupid belief. Fire the stones to heat the bathhouse with clean, white steam; Iíve missed civilised ways for so long. Heat will fill me and as I feel it smother me Burning steam will unravel my tongue. I remember how early that fateful day "Help me brother!" was all I could yell As two fine strapping guards took me far away From a land locked in limbo to hell. From then on in a landscape of mines and marsh Gulping mouthfuls of mud with our tears Weíd ink profiles of Stalin upon our hearts So their beating was easier to hear. Donít fire stones to heat the bathhouse with clean, white steam; Iíve missed civilised ways for so long. Heat will fill me and as I feel it smother me Burning steam will unravel my tongue. My grim story brings chills like an icy blast; It was steam freed these thoughts from my head. From the cold mists that blow from a frozen past I dive into the hot mist instead. As these thoughts in my skull fought to see the day It transpired I was branded in vain; With the swish of a birch broom Iíll beat away All the signs of dark times that remain. Fire the stones to heat the bathhouse with clean, white steam; So with civilised ways Iíll belong. Heat will fill me and as I feel it smother me Burning steam will unravel my tongue.
© Margaret & Stas Porokhnya. Translation, 2007