I WALK on, nothing touches me: I'm foreign.
The women who scurry to their front doors
See only that I have walked by.
I'm always around the corner from whoever tries to see me,
Invulnerable to metals and encrustations.
O afternoon, what memories!
Just yesterday I was a child leaning over the well,
Delighted to see my face in the water down below.
Today, a man, I see my face in the deep water of the world.
And if I laugh it's only because I was once a different I:
A child delighted to see his face in the bottom of the well.
I feel them all as flesh of my own flesh.
I touch my arm and there they are:
The dead, who never leave me!
And the dead are all the people, places, and days from my past.
Sometimes amid the noise of the factory machines
A nostalgia lightly grazes my arm,
I turn around, and there in the sunlit yard of my old house
Stands the child I was, happily ignorant of what I would become.
Ah, be motherly!
Ah, be mellifluous and speechless,
O night in which I forget myself
Remembering . . .