And if there is no longer any tenderness,
let us then pretend this tenderness
with blindfold hands and eyes half closed,
lying against each other like a frontier.
A word may then no longer be called a word,
but a mouthful of comforting silence;
and longing no longer the length of an arm,
but further, and more distant than a panoramic view
full of summer birds, music by Mendelssohn, a sfumato
derived from Da Vinci. You will swap your most beautiful pity
for my favourite sorrow; I, carefully taking time
to explore more deeply the fading of your body.
O, if there is then still tenderness,
this tenderness should be dreaded
like a very old wound. So much tenderness
no man could ever stand.