4 Metaphors about the Moon
My heart is a well within, where clear waters raise if it rains,
mixed with mud.
The moon inside it grows and dwindles continuously.
She breaks for me her bread, I share with her my water.
The more dreams I carry on my back, the more she shines brighter.
Because of too many shadows my road is darker
and I hid in the hollow of an old tree. Tomorrow it will be cut down.
The bloody knife is on the ground, covered with dust.
I feel like a woman who has never had a shadow,
either sunshine or moonlight.
Right before dawn, when dreams knock loudly at my conscience gate,
a gray orchid grows under my eyelids.
A night butterfly asleep on the white sugar bowl.
What if the moon itself was nothing but the imprint of a dry flower
on the iris of a child’s eye?
If you dare to pass by the corner of a poet’s house in Venice,
a black gate towards the old attic will open.
There the moon turns on a gramophone record.
Always the same tune, over waters and rice fields, beyond dams and oceans,
beyond white birds migrations in any season.
it might have been that once upon a time,
I grew long fingers like icicles,
as a piano player,
I strolled along like the whisper of an old wind
playfully stealing the flat notes
from a young girl’s sighs
as if at once all the church bells sounded fair,
like a fair Sunday
and the sky was pale like swathes of wheat
ripped down by rain
it might have been that between lives
my eyelashes grew
and the soles of my feet, thin like italic letters
carried me far away, over the ice
a good man lit up the two candles
and made light in the tomb
a mason took some light and built day and night
other nests from the nest of his hands,
like swallows do,
a plowman took the sun on his shoulders
and made the earth bleed
to germinate grain and to make the world smell like milk,
the others propped their elbows on the tables
and gathered the sunbeams in hives of formulae and words
the water-seeker took the moon with him in order to see
where does the feeble thread of clear water hide
and all the rest of us opened our eyes into this tomb,
the day we were born
Before the rest of us becomes the dust carried by light beams
The history of words is our history, preached the librarians from their chairs with tall backs, form their spiraled staircases in mahogany old wood, as if talking from a pulpit, as if the dust was speaking on their lips, dancing in the light, sweeping labyrinths of wainscots and railings.
Somewhere there is the Portrait of Dorian Gray, elsewhere Pygmalion, elsewhere Alice through the Looking-glass, there is still evidence about how man’s search in the mirrors changes reality, about why God commanded us not to make graven images, those envied charmed mirrors that can see things around our world like in Snow White’s story and aren’t all books just mere mirrors or graven images?
The follow-ups of words in their riverbed from origins to the seas in their etymological dictionaries trying to give a meaning to the word religion or breath, or the bookish explanations of the Da Vinci’s colors in the Virgin of the Rocks, the ancient cultures, the continents that can no longer be discovered in our limited edition dialogue among civilizations, the soteriological scripts and the history of Flemish tapestry in the 16th and 17th centuries, the words crushed one over the other like butterflies under the white shirt of a book.
And atop heaps of wheat and hay in the granary, where only the fine dust was speaking, two bodies of newlyweds, with their limpid auras, made love, protected by the light of the sun, touching one another only by their fingertips, golden and young.
In the beginning, it was the Word
and the Word was a Child
and the Child kept the Milky Way in his left hand
with clouds of stars and groves of comets.
Growing up, he was lured by a flood of dragonflies,
and butterflies landing in the meadows
where fish and birds were strewn
on his mother’s skirt full of colors.
Delicate was the world and great was the light
following him step by step in his game
for being and grand-being
And his hand grew, bringing out into the open,
as torn apart from hillocks in the sky,
the mountains and the rivers, the plains and the oceans,
in the days of his Creation,
as long as the Child waved his hands in the air.
And the Old Man form the seventh day is still a Child,
even if his hand is as big as the earth,
or as cracked and sore as a country road.
He barely keeps his feeble shadow propped with his shoulders,
and soon his last star, almost transparent,
will slip down far away, from his left hand,
into the baptismal font of a mountain spring.
More beautiful than this is impossible, I hear you say to me,
when the piano song leaves for afar from my ears.
I too cry, don’t you see, it is not only you crying,
the silvery-green rain weaves for me a dress and the unskilled sun
seams it with untrodden grass.
My fingertips are only a shadow, I don’t want
to kill myself as long as I am alive,
there is a delta for everything,
for all the crying of those who have souls,
a sunrise for the wings of thin and long water birds,
who take flight below
closer to the river’s reflection of the sky.
Today I love myself
and I am lonelier than yesterday and maybe
I am in love with all the lovers in this world,
I value their full moments after they take a share of everything,
form every mirror of this world
where they see themselves,
I can’t, I simply cannot breathe any longer, because I am happy.
I am fifteen years old and my name is woman or maybe willow.
The Woman and the Violin
As if she were a Spanish question mark,
she sits at the window and grows tall cypresses between her eyelids,
she takes out pocket watches from beneath her breasts,
some snowflakes fly like silvery confetti from her fingers,
and many quince flowers fall from her Arabian slippers.
She sits with the window drapes blowing in the wind,
she’s calm and soft, serious and silent as if she were clothless.
It was somewhere on the Champs-Élysées, oh no, it was at the Kremlin,
or maybe in Saint Mark’s square, somewhere with many pigeons,
with white and red chalk signs on the street and a heavy downpour over you,
such as you felt shame in the face of God, the sky threw itself on your heads,
along with the memories of love declared between you two,
like swearing amid pillows, and you my beloved, and you my dearest one.
She kept silent for three hours like in any other Sunday,
hungry and thirsty, with her cheeks pressed against the blue window sashes,
with the wind and the old blue paint sticking to her hair,
she raises from the Persian carpet hanging on the wall, she’s weaved among stars,
she flies with her knees held to her chest,
and that smell of old and warm wood in her nostrils knocks her down.
The Fall in the Eye
and then I gathered in a trunk the holy clothes and the holy foods
and I left
somewhere not too far away,
because my road was written in black ink,
after I delved in an eye for a piece of time, only at the edge of the eyelid.
today I still live within myself
and it is very hard for me to go away
where the soul is not a queen and the reason can usurp it
it is too much sun and the moon cries with a scent of death
let it be a white and round little house as if carved in a big pumpkin
so there is room enough for both grandpa and grandma
and for all my memories
the Naumann sewing machine the cuckoo clock in the front room
the handkerchiefs perfectly folded twice the candles spreading light
over the old photos hanging in frames on the walls
let me sleep like a baby hare between big down pillows with my feet
touching the warm terracotta stove tiles
let the bread dough in the trough raise by itself until the crust breaks
grandma makes the sign of cross over it and cuts it in seven
pours a drop of consecrated water over it
from that green pitcher with a thread of basil
to bring God too at our dinner table
grandpa lights a terrible fire that makes you feel your knees mellow
he places the teakettle with wine on the stove for it is mid winter
and even the child could taste a mouthful
grandma sprinkles cinnamon from a small sachet hidden in the cupboard
she puts on her sheepskin vest with oblong buttons
and fetches another bucket of water from the well
while I sort out good white beans for our soup
I am not a butterfly
I have very sad eyes and white hands.
My child will be born happy.
Over the earthen bread the napkin of the sky will fall,
the baptism of my son among the men who, just like me, love
their land and their work, the joy of giving, the beauty of being human,
the tall firs’ grace, the murmuring waters, the living seed within the ground.
Upon the teardrops of bodily pain a song will fall,
that unseen song that was written on a starlit staff.
For us it’s raining too much, too often,
someone gathers all cornflowers and scatters them on our bed.
When I look into my child’s eyes I am smaller and smaller,
I am warmer and warmer and I have a house of my own
with fireplace and toys,
with simple windows that let the clear sky come in entirely
after my child wipes off the steam of his breath.
All those flowers between us and we stay together.
My child plays with my fingers without counting them.
For him they are more and more as he touches them.
Just like me, he was born happy.
About my grandma
the undergarments with naphthalene whiff, in the shape of
frou-frou petticoats on rubber strips, preserving a rotten
cherry pinkish color from the time of can-can dancers,
adorned with black lace, or imperial gray petticoats with
white showy frills, they all suited me like fairy-like dresses
with décolletage and long trains, because I did not stop
playing until I finished trying on everything I could find
in grandma’s closet, looking at my image in the old mirror,
where I resembled those fresh and soft cups of peonies
from our garden, which we cut with a long stem and shook
them off of spiders and ants.
the hunchback of Notre Dame and Liz Taylor’s violet eyes,
Greta Grabo’s profile, and the rain quietly putting steam on
the windowpanes, the jammed black and white TV set
with Aristocats, the unripe time when the senses could not
be torn apart from reason, when I used to learn by heart
one or two new folk songs every week, when I waited for
the desire for the rain to sprout out from my heart, when I wore
the raincoat received as a gift two years earlier, reaching
just above my knees and fastened with a cord and a ribbon
on my waist in front of the unfaithful mirror.
there’s always she and her motherly heart, bringing closer
the fresh sun at dawn, that old woman who allows us to hang
around with things from her rotten drawers, things that lure
us to be ours, to touch them or smell them as if everlasting
flowers, and we, the ones who know that there will be others
like us after our rite of passage, the ones who know the price
of beauty, the ones who are listening to Carmina Burana,
thinking that we can live a wholesome life even though
fortuna imperatrix mundi est.