A wardrobe, a mirror, a chair,
not one star, my room, a window,
the nights as always, and I, not hungry,
chewing gum, dreaming, hoping.
There are a lot of men outside, everywhere,
and beyond them the fog, the morning.
There are frozen trees, dry earth,
fish motionless, indistinguishable from the water,
nests asleep under warm doves.
Here, no woman. I wish there were one,
For days now my heart has wanted to swell
under a caress, a word.
The night is harsh. The shadow drags itself
across the walls, slow as the dead.
That woman and I were fastened together with water.
Her skin over my bones
and my eyes in her glance.
We have died many times
I remember that I remember her name,
her lips, her skirt that I could see through.
Her breasts are sweet, and from one place
on her body to another it is a long way:
form nipple to nipple a hundred lips and an hour,
from pupil to pupil a heart, two tears.
I lover her to the bottom of all the abysses,
to the last flight of the last wing,
when all the flesh is no longer flesh, nor the soul soul.
One has to love. I've come to know that I love her.
How hard, and warm, and clear she is!
I wish she were here tonight.
From the street the sound of a violin floats up.
Yesterday I watched two little boys combing their hair
in front of naked dummies in a store window..
For three years I worried when I heard the whistle of the train,
now I know it is a machine.
No good-bye is better than the one of every day
to everything, to every moment, the blood
lit up on high.
Deserted blood, soft night,
tobacco of insomnia, mournful bed.
I’m going somewhere else.
And I'm taking my hand, that writes and talks so much.
Translated by W.S. Merwin