Each star a rung,
night comes down the spiral
staircase of the evening.
The breeze passes by so very close
Do not ask, my love, for the love we had before:
You existed, I told myself, so all existence shone,
Grief for me was you; the world’s grief was far.
Spring was ever renewed in your face:
Before you came things were just what they were:
the road precisely a road, the horizon fixed,
the limit of what could be seen,
a glass of wine was no more than a glass of wine.
I am being accused of loving you, that is all
It is not an insult, but a praise, that is all
My heart is pleased at the words of the accusers
On the far horizon waved some flicker of light
My heart, a city of suffering, awoke in a state of dream
My eyes, turning restless, still dreaming,
the morning, dawning in this vacuous abode of separation
I longed for your lips, dreamed of their roses:
I was hanged from the dry branch of the scaffold.
This is the way that autumn came to the trees:
it stripped them down to the skin,
left their ebony bodies naked.
It shook out their hearts, the yellow leaves,
Speak, your lips are free.
Speak, it is your own tongue.
Speak, it is your own body.
Speak, your life is still yours.
Loneliness like a good, old friend
visits my house to pour wine in the evening.
And we sit together, waiting for the moon,
and for your face to sparkle in every shadow.