Yannis Ritsos – Poems, Volume I

Exactly Now

Now that you have nothing to say nothing

to show to emphasize to defend now

that everything is lost (and not just for you) exactly now

you may speak roaming among the

tools of torture turning around with your

small finger the meaningless wheels of

broken clocks or that huge hovering

non-resistant wheel still a bit wet

as they raised it from the sunken ship –

exactly now pulling ropes from the ceiling

listening to the sound of pulleys above you

in vague places like the stars during that night

when we came back from the countryside and in

the marble courtyard they had set in exact order

two rows of black wooden highchairs

and in the middle the king’s golden closed casket

without any flags without the crown and the sword


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