When we were first divided into two
And one of our beds stood here and one stood there
We picked an inconspicuous word to bear
The sense we gave it: I am touching you.
The pleasure of such speaking may seem paltry
For touch itself is indispensable
But we at least kept ‘it’ inviolable
And saved for later, like a surety.
Stayed ours, and yet removed from you and me
Could not be used yet had not ceased to be
Not rightly there and yet not gone away
And standing among strangers we could say
This word of ours as in the common tongue
And mean by it: we know where we belong.
Notes on this poem
This poem comes from an exchange between Brecht and his lover, Mrgarete Steffin.