I wanted to touch your face
with my quivering fingertips
just like a man robbed of his eyes would trace
and recognize the face of his beloved.
Beneath the blazing sun
along the Equator
and with the chilling wind from pole to pole
haven’t I looked for you
to hold your hand firmly in mine
with the trust of a person, blind,
crossing a busy street
clutching the hand of his beloved
or behind the telling sounds of her feet?
But then an old man with wrinkled female dug*
cried out, “behold, O weary soul
waking up from a fitful sleep
past the darkest hour of the night
past the high-pitched cry of the owls,
behold the presage of the dawn!
Listen, O anxious heart
pacing up and down through the room
stand for awhile and let the air
flow over your tired face, while you
hear the twittering of the birds.
I too had borne this weariness
and sweated amid the fits of sleep,
I too had measured the room in hurried steps
at empty nights, on sunny days.
I have toiled for a long year in the field
and saw it sprouting healthy weeds at best.”
*a reference to Tiresias