If you’ve come to stay, she says, don’t speak.
The rain and the wind on the roof-tiles are enough
and the silence piled up on the furniture
like dust for centuries without you.
Don’t speak yet. Listen to what was
the knife in my flesh: each step, a far-off laugh,
some mongrel barking, the car door slamming
and the train which continues to pass and pass
over my bones. Keep still: there’s nothing to say.
Let the rain turn into rain again
and the wind be that tide beneath the roof-tiles, let
the cur cry his name into the night, the car door
slam, the stranger leave, in this null place
where I was dying. Stay if you’ve come to stay.
Translated by Marilyn Hacker