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SIDEWALKS

SIDEWALKS

I'm in the street, in a street all lonely
Walking, walking and never looking back
At the point my path is mingled with the black
I seem to see a phantom wait for me

Ashen clouds overcast the darkling sky
Lightening bolts seek the chimneys of homes
In this midnight only two who sleepless roam
I here am one and there the sidewalks lie

Drop by drop a terror collects in me
At the head of every street the demons wait
The houses fix their gaze, dark black and great,
On me, like blindmen with their eyes ripped free

The sidewalks, mother to the suffering
Sidewalks, the person who has lived in me
Sidewalks, sound heard when all sounds cease to be
Sidewalks, a language within me lingering

I'll not give up life in a soft embrace
I am the child nursed at this sidewalk's breast
Please let no morning on this dark street rest
On this dark street let me ever run my race

Let me go on and the road, let us not stay
Let the lamps flow past me like a flood
Let hungry dogs hear the click-clack of my tread
Let there be an arch, vaulted in gloom, on my way

Let the daytimes be yours, give me darknesses
Let me not walk in light nor to eyes appear
As in a damp quilt let me wrap myself here
Cover me, cover me in their cool darknesses

If my body, full-length on these stones could lie
If these cold stones would draw the fever from my brow
Like these streets plunging into uncanny drowse
If only the sidewalks' melancholy mate would die

Translated by Walter G. Andrews

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