I've wept in the hallway

I remember when I wore a younger person's more fitted, less ambiguously athletic loungewear, I wanted to hear from voices I respected on the subject of laughing with one half my face and crying with the other.

Last week I bought a volume of Aleksandr Kushner's poetry because he was the only Russian poet on the shelves of the UCLA student bookstore. So here is this:

In despair or in trouble, trouble,
Whoever you may be, when you go down in sorrow,
Know this: I’ve been there before you on this murky star,
I’ve gone cold, I’ve wept in the hallway.

So as not to be noticed, I lowered my eyes. I admit to you
These tears of my own, unfortunate friend,
Whoever you may be, just so you’ll know: the heavens
Will not be struck by that thick, silent cry,

And they will not reply. Don’t you see the ancient track?
You are not the first to thread the shadows along the precipice.
The path is laid. There then, isn’t that better?
Touchy one, I’m playing with you.

You’d like me to spell out my misfortunes? They will not
Pass my lips; the thick-skinned bush is still smoldering.
Like that moment in Pushkin: “it’s all coming down on my head...”
What is this “all”? Don’t ask: all of us have the same all.

Ah, you, whoever you may be, aren’t you
Already less wretched, less lonely?
Pace the room back and forth, or lie down on the sofa awhile,
And here’s life, up and about again, tender, blue-eyed.
— Aleksandr Kushner

All of us have the same all.