My eyes turned to salt in looking back,
my thoughts stood still in gestures,
in the silence of what’s been done;
I gathered the crumbs of another lunch
and shook them into the garden’s vitreous air
where the sun’s just cracked and spilled.
Here, even a flutter of blackbird beyond the hedge
stands still, as my words stand still, like ships in bottles.
Your language is mine but mine is not yours.
At home, I could feel myself thinking
while the television glowed in shadow
and a film score spread like smoke in a saloon.
I keep to myself what it means to tend a fire,
the thick scent of soaked wood, a match between my fingers,
the way a day resides in what’s to do, in another light
split by the clouds, a different sunset tied to the tallest trees
flush in the eyes of houses, on the poor man’s livestock;
a touch here, a touch there — the way loneliness comes,
today, a day like this, one day more alone.
Translated from the Italian