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ON A DAY LIKE THIS (Translation by Sam Abrams)

For hours he's paced up and down
trapped in his own room.
He would like to know what words
to use to set that memory down,
yet it's so hard for him to find them
that he's amassed a heap of crumpled papers.
Now he stops close by the window
and lights a cigarette.
It's summer, the afternoon is muggy,
bustle and shrill cries come to him off the streets.
Perhaps it was a day like this
that marked the onset of what has led him
to where he finds himself: an empty room.
Perhaps it was a day like this
that marked the onset of what keeps him
disturbingly alive: the memory of her.
Even the smells seem the same.
Once again he takes a seat and struggles with words,
and it's almost as if he had her by his side,
as if he heard her laughing between the sheets.
Yet as he writes and regains her
he knows the afternoon is sliding away,
that this day as well as its counterpart from the past,
once the night that has just begun is over,
will both share the same relentless fate.
PORTRAIT OF THE POET (Translation by Sam Abrams)

The wind howls, the water is frozen thick
in the pipes, it is snowing.
For hours it has been dark
and icicles taper downwards
from the eaves.
Ah, how good it is to close your book,
snuff out the candle that flickers on the table
and, in the light afforded by the fireplace,
curl up in bed, without making a sound,
not to awaken this youthful body
that lies, in all its purity, fast asleep.
Now, buried under the blankets, close
your eyes and in your mind re-enact this day
not so different from all others.
Savor this tiny moment of enjoyment
that makes everything worthwhile, as you lay your hand
upon this sighing breast, deep in sleep,
its face lost among the soft flowing strands of hair.
Will it be this way, death?
Welcome like this drowsiness that overtakes you,
this sensation of utter mildness, devoid of reproach and grievance,
grateful alone for the incommensurable gifts of life?
Will it be like this that on our way to darkness
we will meet with light?