To My Son

  1. You refused to close your eyes, my dead one,
  2. and they are open to the sky like two swallows:
  3. your coloring, June-crowned, is now dew
  4. drifting to certain places where it is morning.
  5. Today is like a day inside the earth; it’s dark,
  6. as if inside the earth, rainy, deserted,
  7. damp, sunless as the corpse I will be one day,
  8. like the earth under which I must bury you.
  9. Since you died, mornings, robbed
  10. of your fiery solar eyes, do not breathe.
  11. October storms against our windows.
  12. You cleared autumn’s path. You turned the seas night-dark.
  13. The sun, your sole rival, devoured you
  14. deep as the distant shadow that set you ablaze;
  15. light knocked you down, bore you down,
  16. swallowed you; and it is as if you were never born.
  17. Ten months in light, with the sky making its rounds,
  18. the dead sun, blackened, entombed, eclipsed.
  19. Without passing through daytime, your hair faded;
  20. your flesh drew toward evening, with dawn just at hand.
  21. The dove, facing east, asked after you.
  22. A newborn body needs the dawn, and happiness,
  23. my little child who knew only laughter, so much
  24. that certain flowers die with your smile.
  25. Gone, gone, gone like the swallow,
  26. the summer bird that flees a life touched by frost:
  27. like the swallow who, just opening his delicate wings,
  28. has them clipped, is stranded by what is hostile to flight.
  29. Flower, incapable of growing sharp teeth,
  30. of attaining the tiniest hint of ferocity.
  31. Life like the leaf of newly-formed lips,
  32. a leaf that falls just as it starts to utter itself.
  33. The sea’s councils were worthless to you…
  34. I’ve just come to stab the tender sun a little,
  35. to bury a slice of bread in oblivion,
  36. to toss into a few eyes a little handful of nothing.
  37. Green, red, brown; green, blue, gold;
  38. life’s latent colors, gardens,
  39. the insides of flowers destined for your feet,
  40. and gloomy blacks, grave stiff whites.
  41. Woman over in the corner: see, it’s day now.
  42. (Oh, eyes that never set in the dawn!)
  43. But in your womb, in your eyes, my wife,
  44. desolate night keeps falling.