Saturday, May 23, 2009

Once again I see you, City of my childhood terrifyingly lost . . .
City of my sorrow and joy, I dream here again . . .
I? But am I the same person who lived here once and returned,
And came back here again and again?
And now come back here again, am I?
Or are we, all the I's I was and were here,
A string of bead-beings strung all together by a memory strand,
A string of dreams of myself which someone outside me dreamt up?

Once again I see you ---
With a heart more distant, soul less my own.

Once again I see you --- Lisbon, the Tagus, and all ---,
Useless passerby of you and of me,
Stranger in this place as of every other,
Accidental in life as in the soul,
Phantom wandering the halls of memory,
To the squealing of rats and the squeaking of boards,
In the doomed castle where life must be lived . . .

Once again I see you,
Shadow passing through shadows,
Shining for one moment in an unknown, funereal light,
Then entering the night like a ship's wake disappearing,
In water slowly become inaudible . . .

Once again I see you,
But myself, alas, I fail to see!
Shattered, the magical mirror where I saw myself identical,
And in each fateful fragment I descry only a piece of myself ---
A piece of you and of myself . . .

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