Translated from Italian by John Poch
The deep split in my lip awakens me. What creaks in my mouth is a paste of sand and blood. My blackened eyes stay shut. The wine in my hair smells sweet. In the gutter the ice has made half my face fall asleep. When I push on my knees to pull away my cheek, the mud kisses me goodbye.
Yes I know it, but how can I find your photo in my pocket without seeing that room again: that dark motel, the highway in that state along the West Coast, without feeling your hand, your grace playing blind man’s bluff with all this time and space that touches me with one finger: my chin, my hairline, to feel your fingertip find me and shape me like clay at the same time?
I made your ring with iron wire. The large cross above the bell tower emerged from the valley like the Paiute’s arrow fletching. It doesn’t matter that you know it. Do you feel it? I can. That everything is accomplished, and there is no return? Yes you said happy beyond the ridge of each season, where it’s impossible for you to stay, to be mine, to go away. Where it’s impossible to distinguish courage from a form of madness. In the wild, in Oregon, on the road of the West. Yes you happily said, where? looking for the cross.