Eight Epitaphs

Дата: 09-09-2006 | 09:33:42

I.

You liked your scrolls ? – Here they are.
The manuscript of your book ? – Here it is.
Your wine and figs ? – Here they are.
The portrait of your wife ? – Here it is.
Your garden and your house ? – Here they are.
The box you never opened ? – Here it is.

You are all here, this is all of you.
Your soul would have nothing to add.


II.

Before I went, I had a dream.
The messenger squeezed through
from the other world.
It was painful to look at him,
but he was in pain, too.
His flesh pressed him hard.

He groaned: "You shouldn't go now.
Child, the time has not come yet.
You should stay and know
this leaden light."

Stranger, reading these lines,
how could I play and grow
where an angel wriggles and cries ?


III.

If you love me, she asked,
jump down from the rock.
I did, and Eros preserved
me alive. Yet I froze like a dog
in the sea, and soon died.

I am in the cold eternity,
and love I never will -
Thanatos rescued me
from a greater chill.


IV.

My son loved music
and I put near him a flute
wrapped in a strip of silk,
to keep the dirt from it.

When the winds don't blow,
at the end of day,
I believe I know
that I hear him play.


V.

Her mother wanted her so badly
that she would pester me
almost every night, pounding doggedly
on the door, weeping under the fig tree.

I knew that sooner or later
I would have to let her go.
When she fell ill last winter,
I knew at once what I know.


VI.

Come to me holding the blades of grass,
Come to me at once.
Enter my room in your silken dress,
give me a caress.

The whole planet is pressing you now.
I know how
desperately you want to come
from your crowded home.


VII.

If I wanted to hug you, I would have
to hug both the day and the night,
the mountain on the left,
and the waterfall on the right.

I would have to retain you
once and for all.
Here, between the mountain
and the waterfall.


VIII.

I am sitting at the table,
writing my own epitaph.
The parchment is pressed
by a piece of marble.
There is wine, a peach cut in half.

Shall I say that I was blessed
with a long life, for I loved the mist
in the mountains, the bird in the nest
more than my soul,
which was creeping low ?
That the peach is whole ?

The dead would already know,
and the living would not listen.

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