Tomas Tranströmer

(15 April 1931 / Stockholm)

The Couple


They switch off the light and its white shade

glimmers for a moment before dissolving

like a tablet in a glass of darkness. Then up.

The hotel walls rise into the black sky.

The movements of love have settled, and they sleep

but their most secret thoughts meet as when

two colors meet and flow into each other

on the wet paper of a schoolboy’s painting.

It is dark and silent. But the town has pulled closer

tonight. With quenched windows. The houses have approached.

They stand close up in a throng, waiting,

a crowd whose faces have no expressions.


Translation by Robin Fulton

Submitted: Friday, December 23, 2011

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