Tiflis. July 1931.
So Mandelstam would grow oranges in a glacier. I can hear his cough beyond the drifting snow. Candles, three, in a row guttering like spam. You heard his coughing beyond the sudden rattling of the petrol cans. Bad teeth are a kind of sermon… The prisoner-trains coughing across the Turkish hills. An Egyptian postage stamp on his forehead, he shoots at flying red squirrels, laughs and misses again… some nasty tobacco and gin from the old woman polishing spoons. Osip asleep in an electric arc like the open boat with a black canister of Saltines and currant jelly. What does the one have to do with the other— a marginal cash note to the widow details nothing. Nothing and its red mustache. Coughing?