Away from this winter morning fine and mild,
please, don’t go,
but in this courtyard stay, submerged
like a wreck, inside our life.
Between the bay-tree and the aspidistras
with their broad, green, romantic leaves,
please don’t go, don’t go away.

All is set up so you can carry on,
so stay, then, please, don’t go away.
Just tell me you remember: I need
some words that have the deep, clear
voice of absence so I can ask you
about your fleeting triumph over the never more.
But you are quiet, resting in the past,
that bed of flashing sadness.

And so you went, shutting yourself inside
the bud of darkness during these eight months,
until today when, terrified by light,
comes flapping out
death’s pale and furious moth.

But if you’re dying, you are still alive,
and I make the final happiness
unfold across your tired face
with your small hands clasped in mine.
To be dying is to be still alive, I tell myself.
this winter morning fine and mild,
please, don’t go, don’t go away.