THE BODY AND THE SOUL
But it is sadder than that, much, much sadder.
Sad as a branch letting its fruit fall for no one.
Sadder, much sadder. Like the mist
the dead fruit breathes out from the ground.
Like that hand that rises from the corpse lying in state
and merely wants to touch the lamps,
the grieving smile, the night speechless and velvet.
Luminous night above the corpse stretched out without its soul.
The soul outside, soul outside the body, swooping
with such delicacy over the shape sad and abandoned.
Soul of soft mist, held floating
above its former lover, the defenseless and pale
body, which grows colder as the night goes on,
it remains silent, alone, empty in a gentle way.
Soul of love that watches and hesitates
to free itself, but finally leaves, gentle and cold.
Translated by Robert Bly