Skies of Winter Nights

My bed has four white rats for its feet.

I walk out into the night sky, as if into a cage

then skate out over the heavens.

So clear, so resonant,

the skies of winter nights,

more expansive, emptier than a deserted scrapyard.

Snowflakes are drunken moths

and the villages dotted here and there

are wine barrels buried in the snow.

'Who will come and clasp me round the neck?'

I can hear a horse

murmuring as it trots.

'Clip, clip,' a huge pair of shears has begun to work.

From within a great cavern, the stars all begin to rise

and billowing waves are spied in the horse's eyes.

Ah, I feel so good.

As if I was running my hands all the way down

the smooth, glistening spine of a whale.

I am searching for the city where I live.

I am searching for my beloved,

there on the pedals of my bicycle, those two restless

bananas.

Let the wood

rest in the timberyard and get on with its nightmare.

Let the new moon lying on the ash-coloured desert

get on and sharpen its sickle.

Not necessarily from the East:

I see the sun as a thread of pearls.

The sun is a necklace of pearls, rising in succession. . .

1985

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
64°