The blossoming sea and mountains in the moon’s waning
the big rock near the prickly pear and the asphodels
the pitcher that never went dry at the end of day
and the hidden bed near the cypress and your hair
golden; stars of the Swan and that star Aldebaran.
I’ve held onto my life held onto my life traveling
among yellow trees under the slant of the rain
on silent hills covered with beech leaves
no fire on their peaks; evening comes on.
I’ve held onto my life; a line to your left
a scar on your knee, as if they exist
on last summer’s sand as if
they’d remain where the north wind blew as I hear
a foreign voice around the frozen lake.
Faces I see don’t inquire, nor does the woman
walking bent over giving suck to her child.
I climb mountains; dark chasms, the snowy
plain while beyond the snowy plain they ask nothing
neither the hours closed in mute chapels nor
the hands outstretched begging nor the roads.
I’ve held onto my life I’ve whispered in infinite silence
I don’t know any more how to speak or to reason; whispers
like the sighing of the cypress that night
like the human voice of the nighttime sea on the pebbles
like the recollection of your voice saying “happiness.”
I close my eyes seeking the secret confluence of waters
under the ice the smile of the sea the closed springs
feeling with my veins for the veins that abandon me
where waterlilies end and that man
walks blindly over silent snow.
I’ve held onto my life, with him, seeking the water that touches you
heavy drops on the green leaves, on your face
in the empty garden, drops in the unmoving reservoir
on the white wings of a dead swan,
living trees and your staring eyes.
This road never ends, never changes, no matter how you try
to remember childhood years, the ones who left, the ones
who were lost in sleep in graves of the sea
how you look for bodies you loved to bend
under the sturdy branches of the plane trees
where a naked ray of the sun stood still
and a dog leapt and your heart fluttered,
the road never changes; I’ve held onto my life.
and the water frozen in hoof prints of the horses.
[Translated from the Greek by David Mason]