A LITTLE SLEEP
The distant voice of the lottery vendor. The swaying of the tree.
A canteen steadied in the sand.
The west is burning. A purple reflection over the seashore.
The few houses painted crimson, silence and sundown.
You have a summer handkerchief in your pocket,
a sorrow you left behind on the ledge
like the ripped shoe of the spring that was left on
when the last group grabbed three meters of sea
and left stooping among the tents of the wind.
How fast the sun goes down in your eyes;
your coat is already smelling of moist,
you put your hands in your gloves like the trees
get in the clouds.
Where the tempest stops your glance is re-ignited
where the sky ends your song and your whole face
There is a yellow star in your silence
like a small daisy on the side table of the sick man
a little warmth on every yellow leaf that turns
the pages of time backward.
It is enough that you know. The other communication
doesn’t end at midnight.
The line is continued from deep inside and from afar
with a few stops, interruptions, accidents,
and autumn finds shelter on the railings of the station
or the fence wall of the Orphanage,
it listens to the call for silence on the damp roofs and
to the gramophone of the seashore bar,
that the moon turns,
a scratched vinyl, a very old tango. No one dances.
But you, turning the moon to its other side,
beyond midnight, further from the ledge,
you listen to the great music while you saunter
in the harbour with the twelve boat masts
like a speechless restaurant server who cleans
the autumnal tables
folding carefully the napkins of the night,
gathering the stack of plates with the leftover
The sea and the songs continue.
All these that the locked people left outside
belong to us:
the hurrah of the wind in the darkened rooms,
the music that descends in big waves and hits
the window shutters,
the silence that opens its purse and looks at itself
in her square little mirror,
and the woman who wraps herself with the army blanket
and sleeps next to her bag
and you too, as you light your cigarette with a star
over the calm plain of your soul
like the guard who stays vigil over the sleeping soldiers
and thinks of his woman
of the sea
the city with the flags
the sun-dust and the glory of men.
And next to you, you know it,
this big smile
like the circular alarm clock next to the sleeping worker.
It’s time to sleep a little. Don’t be afraid.
The clock is properly wound up. It’ll get you up on time
with the bucket of dawn that draws water from the well,
with the crawl of a proclamation that noiselessly sheds
light under the door of your silence. Be assured.
It’ll wake you up.