By the death of the purest
All joy is invalidated
The chest as if hollowed,
And the eye knows darkness in all.
It takes a few seconds
To wipe out a world.
My former obsession and my new fervor,
You quiver in me for a new desire
That's paradoxical, light like a distant smile
And yet profound like the essential shadow.
(The space between skins
When it can shrink
Opens a world as lovely
As a loud burst of laughter.)
When I have to leave this world
Make it be in your presence
Make it that in my last seconds
I look at you with trust
Tender animal with arousing breasts
That I cup in my hands;
I close my eyes: your white body
Marks the limit of the kingdom.
When it is cold,
Or rather when you feel cold
When a centre of coldness settles with a gentle movement
Deep in the chest
And jumps heavily between the lungs
Like a stupid fat animal;
When your limbs beat weakly
More and more weakly
Before stopping on the sofa
Definitively, it seems;
When the years turn flashing
In a smoky atmosphere
You can no longer remember the scented river,
The river of early childhood
I call it, in accordance with an ancient tradition: the river of innocence.
Now that we live in the light,
Now that we live right next to the light,
In endless afternoons
Now that the light around our bodies has become palpable
Traces of the night.
A star shines, alone,
Ready for distant Eucharists.
Some destinies gather, perplexed,
We are marching I know towards strange mornings.
The fine and delicate texture of the clouds
Disappear behind the trees
And suddenly it's the vagueness that comes before a storm;
The sky is beautiful, hermetic as marble.
When the meaning of things disappears
In the middle of the afternoon
In the gentleness of a Saturday
When paralyzed by arthritis.
The disappearance of railway sleepers
On the iron tracks
Happens just before the rain,
Memories are exhumed.
I think of my call signal
Left at the pond's edge
I remember the real world
Where I lived, long ago.
I am as free as a lorry
The territories of terror,
I am as free as passion.
In the mindlessness that takes the place of grace
I see immobile lawns unfold,
Blueish buildings and sterile pleasures
I am the wounded dog, the cleaner
And I am the lifebelt supporting the dead child,
The unlaced shoes cracked by the sun
I am the dark star, the moment of awakening
I am the present moment, I am the north wind.
All happens, all is there, and all is phenomenon,
No event seems justified;
We would need to attain a pure heart;
A white curtain falls and covers the stage.
Translated Gavin Bowd