Night silence. When you get up in the summer dark
and trees hang in the windlessness beyond the door flung wide.
When rooms breathe slowly and the sea blends with the geraniums.
Red and cobalt, then red once more
from the harbour’s hazard lights,
from the ferries that glitter and wait.
Morning silence. A resonance in footsteps on paving stones,
in voices. It’s the sound of shutters being raised
on untouched shops—a sign of peace:
clear peal from the day’s shofar.
Silent sun on blankets, on floors,
on breakfast cups and the tray’s enamel.
Yes. Never blessed enough each new awakening
not yet ailing, not yet enslaved.
Is the letter of felicity, of earthly joys, of the breath’s flight from the lips, its fading;
it’s the faith of flowers that fold when the sun sets, but it’s also the letter of the
lightning flash, of the flame that, flickering, cleaves the dark.
‘It’s freezing,’ we say, and the f doubles in the same breath that feeds the fire.
Is the letter of hilarity, of the infantile laugh but also of the donkey’s braying which
seems to laugh but then cries or mysteriously invokes. The lips extend. The tongue
remains immobile. The head imperceptibly lifts in an incomplete hymn.
Translated from the Italian by Jamie McKendrick