It should have been on some island
she’d say often, an island that had lost its way
but still held its own against the wind,
one with numerous green trees
where one could lose oneself, forget oneself, get back
that face that looks only like itself, where the surprise
of being lasts, could know if the heart is still
in place, captain of the old ship.
Yes, it’s on an island, on an island
where, taking turns, we should have opened,
layer by layer, our only treasure, not
laid it out as we do here, amidst time’s peelings,
bet everything on dice tossed on the carpet
and then asked the ceiling then the next train leaves.
Translated by Marilyn Hacker