In my eyes whirl the splintered particles,
A simmering of stippled jots;
Sweepings of ostrich plumes
Signal the curtains' rise and fall.
Who will come in the night watch,
Whose glacial voice will call me forth?
"Who, who, who," shrieks the snowy owl.
There is no haven for me. No veil, no cover.
Mine is the flight of a grey dove,
A small flutter, a noiseless dive;
Crimson dripping on the ice,
Ai, ai, I am too heavy for the air.
If there is a word for me,
I cannot decipher it.
During the night dance, the dream state,
She extends her porcelain pencil fingers,
--recall how they trembled so long ago--
those hands are surgeon-steady now.
Soul sister, where have you gone?
I'll send her a white lily
to match her calla arms.
A dreamless sleep falls from the shimmering leaves. --Sappho fragment, tr. Andrew Bellon I changed, thickened, ...
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