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

              man’s cloths.

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

            of nakedness.

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 window

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.