What shall I do with this body they gave me,
so much my own, so intimate with me?
For being alive, for the joy of calm breath,
I don’t remember the word I wished to say.
The blind swallow returns to the hall of shadow,
on shorn wings, with the translucent ones to play.
The song of night is sung without memory, though.
A flame is in my blood
burning dry life, to the bone.
I do not sing of stone,
now, I sing of wood.
Insomnia. Homer. Taut canvas.
Half the catalogue of ships is mine:
that flight of cranes, long stretched-out line,
that once rose, out of Hellas.
This is what I most want
to reach beyond the light
that I am furthest from.
Brothers, let us glorify freedom’s twilight –
the great, darkening year.
Into the seething waters of the night
heavy forests of nets disappear.
I have studied the Science of departures,
in night’s sorrows, when a woman’s hair falls down.
The oxen chew, there’s the waiting, pure,
in the last hours of vigil in the town,
My beast, my age, who will try
to look you in the eye,
and weld the vertebrae
of century to century,
She has not yet been born:
she is music and word,
and therefore the untorn,
fabric of what is stirred.