AMONG THE RUINS
A moon parked in front of the tumbled fence wall
of the night;
white moon, like the ambulance in a quarry,
as the stretchers were passing. I remember a forest of big hands
over the caskets. Not a single cry. It wasn’t death after all.
There are a lot of deaths during the night. From each silent
square the empty eye-sockets of the rifles aim at us.
You hold your arms together around your knees,
two grey spools of wool from the old, ripped pullover,
they didn’t get warm.
They kept them in the morgue. His mother recognized him
from his cloths. The afternoon left holding the bundle
with his cloths in the rain.
The water roared in the gutters of the houses all night long
and we talked of putting together our hearts, to write a few
verses, good and elegant verses, like the lamp that lights
the dinner of the poor family. We said:
a rose is a small fire in the sorrowful suburbs.
Which dinner, of which family, which rose? Our hearts
were left in the corner of the room like the bundle of the dead
And the water roared in the gutters. Then the wind,
a strong wind that dislodged the planks of the night,
dislodged the slabs of silence. Listen to the wind.
There isn’t any stool onto which you can sit with
your folded arms.
You can’t replace the whole forest with a wooden
statuette on the table. The wind howls. The wind
is looking for us. Its steps are heard even in our
like the steps of the soldiers in the domed hallway
of the baths
when we took off our last garment and the orphan
nakedness was left undefended;
the silent confrontation, the awkward laughter
opposite the certain one, the joyous curse and the curse
that tries to be a curse
the timid palm that still hesitates to hide —
We were like children in the shrubs of steam
we weren’t children, we were
so ambitious that we created our Sunday cloths out
But now, there’s not any confrontation with you, or him,
we’re all naked.
We have to confront this wind. Have you lost your leg,
my brother? Lean on me.
When you lean on me, I lean on the world.
We all lean on the world. The wind howls.
How beautiful we all walk together in the wind.
The sun will rise soon as we go over that mountain.
Your eyes look strange when you gaze through
the few stars in the winter sky — your eyes seem
to be as deep as
mother’s eyes when she reads under the green lamp
of the pharmacy that stays open during the night.
Do we have enough time? Hippocrates 27. Twenty seven.
These lights were stars some time ago.
And those small whitewashed country houses
distanced themselves slowly, you just discern them
small-small, square, white
like the cough pouches on the side table. Twenty seven.
Twenty seven. Remember —
we who lost everything
we who have nothing to save
we shall save our love
we shall protect the world like guards who are frozen
in the night.
Let me shake the snow off your shoulders.
I tell you, the world is ours. We keep vigil. Ours.
We light a fire using our old papers so that hope
can warm up its hands.
No, our verses aren’t galloping among the hurrahs
of the stars. No.
They are people who open their path among the ruins
of the night. We do have enough time.