Memory ages

The pyrotechnists

translated by Yannis Goumas 


I thirst like a parched river.


Your hands, solid stones,

block the riverbed.

A wind, I try prying them with jokes,

now devious, now reckless like a river.


You laugh. Your laughter: two glasses smashing on a desolate shore.

Then you get cross. A shot across the meadows.

Your voice breaks harslhy.


If I had died, you wouldn't have met me.


If you hadn't left your matches that day 

at the station or on the train, you wouldn't have met me.


Well, had you not left our house

for good that night,

having slipped on your dress, without undrewear,

I wouldn't be a wind now raging with envy.


That's the way men are:

some mountains, some knives.


And everyrhing ends here,

and here the unforseesn will happen.


Between a final cigarette and night 

memory ages,

the voice of a friend fades out 

and misunderstanding ceases. 


      The pyrotechnists, 1979  





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