Here Is What…


Here is what is happening to me:
my old friend doesn’t come to visit,
and in idle vanity
come various folk, not those who should.
And he
goes about somewhere not with those he should
and he understands that too,
and our dischord is not cleared up,
and both of us suffer from this.
Here is what is happening to me:
Not the right girl at all comes to visit,
she puts her hands on my shoulders
and steals me from another.
And that one-
tell me for God’s sake,
on whose shoulders does she put her hands?
That one
from whom I was stolen
in vengeance also will begin to steal.
She won’t respond immediately this way,
but will live in a struggle with herself
and unaware will select
someone superfluous for her.
Oh, how many nervous
and unhealthy,
unnecessary involvements,
unnecessary friendships!
Something rabidly desperate in me!
Oh, somebody,
break up
the conjunction
of people alien to one another
and the estrangement
of souls that are kindred.

Translated by Albert C. Todd

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