cured forever

Look up into the light of the lantern.
Don’t you see? The calm of darkness
is the horror of Heaven.

We’ve been apart too long, too painfully separated.
How can you bear to dream
to give up watching? I think you must be dreaming,
your face is full of wild expectancy.

I need to wake you, to remind you that there isn’t a future.
That’s why we’re free. And now some weakness in me
has been cured forever, so I’m not compelled
to close my eyes, to go back, to rectify—

The beach is still; the sea, cleansed of its superfluous life,
opaque, rocklike. In mounds, in vegetal clusters,
seabirds sleep on the jetty. Terns, assassins,

You’re tired; I can see that.
We’re both tired, we have acted a great drama.
Even our hands are cold, that were like kindling.
Our clothes are scattered on the sand; strangely enough,
they never turned to ashes.

I have to tell you what I’ve learned, that I know now
what happens to the dreamers.
They don’t feel it when they change. One day
they wake, they dress, they are old.

Tonight I’m not afraid
to feel the revolutions. How can you want sleep
when passion gives you that peace?
You’re like me tonight, one of the lucky ones.
You’ll get what you want. You’ll get your oblivion.

[Louise Glück, “Night Song”, from 'The Triumph of Achilles' in The First Four Books of Poems]

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