Yannis Ritsos – Poems, Volume I

Toward Dawn

Late at night that the traffic slows down

and the traffic wardens leave their posts he

doesn’t know what to do anymore from his window

he looks down at the big glass of the cafe front steamed up

by the breathing of sleeplessness he looks at the

spectral refracted waiters changing clothes behind the cash

he looks at the sky with its wide white holes

discerning in them the wheels of the last bus And then

that: “nothing else nothing else” He enters

the totally empty room He leans his forehead

on the shoulder of a statue resembling him (unnaturally taller)

feeling the freshness of morning on the marble while

down in the courtyard with the broken flagstones the guards

gather and cut strings off packages of the exiled people



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