A balcony hanging from the sky

a little cloud that embitters the sea — the cloud


the fire of a shepherd, in the forest, is put out

           by the rain.

The evening gathers its moist undergarments from

the cloths line before it lights its fire behind the mountain.

Colours fade away, children leave, only the stones remain;

the blood of the day is shed off its veins

two big raindrops melt in the water

the cigarette smoke is of that person who smokes

           at the quay.

We have to close our window shutters now

to take inside our images. There’s dampness.

The faraway dusk remains on the window panes like

the program of the folk festivity after the people disperse

and the small cafes and taverns quieten down.

Shadows get glued on the fence-walls and on the houses

of the island like coal dust is glued on the face of the stoker.

             No one has come.

And yet you still hold the bitter breath of the osier

in your hands, the pungent air of the grapevine

and a piece of the sea we saw behind the net

of a pine tree branch. They haven’t taken

            everything from us.

Soon our night will come to finish silence with

            the quatrain of a star,

to leave its big spade in front of our door

and its silent moon hanging next to us

like the mother puts her wedding ring on the night table

             before she goes to sleep.

The sea remains behind the closed eyelids

a half seen face behind the bands of rain.

The drunken sailor was engraving the name of his beloved

on the tavern door, far away at the foreign harbour

when at daybreak the dawn took out of its pocket

            a large rusted key

and unlocked the storage rooms of the wheat and coal.

Then we said something simple — I don’t remember it,

I only kept the echo of your voice

like the warmth of bodies that remains on the bed-sheets

in the morning and we knew that nothing was lost.

            We knew it well.

Then we went out to the road; it was an unfamiliar road.

The light was counting the loneliness of last night.

The clock of the Station was like the last page of a book

and each time you spoke, the name of our motherland

             came out of your mouth

like you take out of the old suitcase the thick flannel-

             shirt of a farmer.

Thus night found us in the middle of the road. The lights

didn’t recognize us, the houses didn’t say good evening to us,

the windows looked inward.

The heavy bell announced the shift change, yesterday’s

rough sea, and the light bulb in the customs office.

Yet again, over the masts, over the chimneys

this spring star, look at it, doesn’t seem to fade

like an old date written by the saddened hand

of the captain’s wife inside the cabin.

And this smudged up and barefoot night that saunters,

this night arrives like a black tamed dog of the harbour

and sleeps on the sacks of our souls opposite

            the sea.

The night anticipates something. We do too.

Soon we shall hear the faraway neighing of the wind.

A large raindrop will say: I remember.

Another one will say: I start again.

The sponge gatherers who have become relatives of the sea floor

will climb up to the quay to smoke their pipe

to gaze at the signs of the weather in the starlight

to secure the ropes of the boats

until we climb twice the number of steps we’ve descended

until all the colours of the map dissolve into just

             one colour.

Look, the wind already unglues the big signs

             of the clouds.