For the Unknown Cabiria
Under the bridge – a unique life. The colors and lights of the dregs.
A unique echo – when the iron above resounds with footsteps and wheels,
when the water’s black lengthens the yellow luminesence of lamplights.
The world of the damned.
The world of those forgotten.
In the water’s black, drowned roofs and bell towers are overturned,
the charred river blooms with red and green advertisements –
the smoke of illusions.
Under the bridge, you can dream of authentic eternal light
when your dress, bouyant like a rainbow in the wind,
flutters above the railings…
Under the bridge, you can dream that he will come and understand,
forgiving all – so that you fly across the bridge’s black as if to light…
Cigarette butts and spit, the night’s profanities, stifling laments
melt into the water’s black…
Death, sin, and sorrow – in the water’s black…
Maunder under the bridge. You’ll carry it:
the blackest terror, the oppressive drone – you’ll lift the bridge
onto your fragile shoulders…
A Grey, Northern House
A black dove, here, like the soul of Semiramis,
flown, perhaps, from the towers of Babylon –
a storm may blow us some blossoms and seeds,
and a warm scent, come from some clay waste,
will make me feel the roots’ connection to the leaves –
and with double cedar doors opening in a dream,
it may seem once more that someone
touches my cheek through ancient varnish
and silently sheds tears.
A grey, northern house emerges on my street
where three winged lions perch on a pediment,
where autumns of solitude reign like austere sunsets,
where bodiless time runs like the Euphrates,
driven by wind, filled with boats –
the majestic motions of a woman,
a lapis-lazuli necklace shining in moonlight,
a howl from the statues’ jaws in the night…
Notes on this poem
These poems are published in Vagabond Sun: Selected Poems (Shearsman, 2018), translated by Rimas Uzgiris.