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THE CORPSE'S ROOM

THE CORPSE'S ROOM

A room, blinds lowered, a candle on the floor
And on the floor a naked shirt vivified by its fear;
The shadows of nails on milk-white walls,
Now neither rustling nor sound of footfalls.
He lies flat in bed, all tall and long and dead,
Covered in a sheet pulled up to his head.
On the bed-clothes his toes leave their trace,

By candlelight so wan and languid and dull his face.
Hands to his sides, last breath spilled from his breast,
Eyes, a colored window, on the nailed wood ceiling rest.
At the corner of his d"oping lips there is a line,
A little line, tiny, trembling for just a bit of time,
An instant hanging on his drooping lip atremble.
Clearly he went of a sudden without a struggle.
This is my own death, this is death for me.
When mine has come, this is how it will be.

Translated by Walter G. Andrews

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