Poem – Before You Came

Before you came things were just what they were: 

the road precisely a road, the horizon fixed, 

the limit of what could be seen, 

a glass of wine was no more than a glass of wine.
With you the world took on the spectrum

radiating from my heart: your eyes gold

as they open to me, slate the color

that falls each time I lost all hope.
With your advent roses burst into flame: 

you were the artist of dried-up leaves, sorceress

who flicked her wrist to change dust into soot.

You lacquered the night black.
As for the sky, the road, the cup of wine: 

one was my tear-drenched shirt, 

the other an aching nerve, 

the third a mirror that never reflected the same thing.
Now you are here again—stay with me.

This time things will fall into place; 

the road can be the road, 

the sky nothing but sky; 

the glass of wine, as it should be, the glass of wine. 

Poem – Be Near Me 

Be near me now,

My tormenter, my love, be near me—

At this hour when night comes down,

When, having drunk from the gash of sunset, darkness comes

With the balm of musk in its hands, its diamond lancets,

When it comes with cries of lamentation,

with laughter with songs;

Its blue-gray anklets of pain clinking with every step.

At this hour when hearts, deep in their hiding places,

Have begun to hope once more, when they start their vigil

For hands still enfolded in sleeves;

When wine being poured makes the sound

of inconsolable children

who, though you try with all your heart,

cannot be soothed.

When whatever you want to do cannot be done,

When nothing is of any use;

—At this hour when night comes down,

When night comes, dragging its long face,

dressed in mourning,

Be with me,

My tormenter, my love, be near me. 

Poem – A Prison Evening 

Each star a rung, 

night comes down the spiral

staircase of the evening.

The breeze passes by so very close

as if someone just happened to speak of love.

In the courtyard, 

the trees are absorbed refugees

embroidering maps of return on the sky.

On the roof, 

the moon – lovingly, generously –

is turning the stars

into a dust of sheen.

From every corner, dark-green shadows, 

in ripples, come towards me.

At any moment they may break over me, 

like the waves of pain each time I remember

this separation from my lover.
This thought keeps consoling me: 

though tyrants may command that lamps be smashed

in rooms where lovers are destined to meet, 

they cannot snuff out the moon, so today, 

nor tomorrow, no tyranny will succeed, 

no poison of torture make me bitter, 

if just one evening in prison

can be so strangely sweet, 

if just one moment anywhere on this earth.