People are walking back and forth on the city streets
buying food, newspapers, attending to business
Their faces are flushed, their lips full and bright.
You lifted the sheet to look at his face
you bent to kiss him in the way you always did,
but it was the last time. He looked as he always looked,
just a little more tired. He was wearing his everyday clothes,
those were his everyday shoes. And those his hands
that had broken bread and poured wine.
Today again in the passing hours you lifted the sheet
to look at his face for the last time.
When you walk in the street, there’s no one beside you,
when you’re afraid, no one takes your hand.
And the streets aren’t yours, nor is the city
The glittering city is not yours. The glittering city belongs to the others
to the people who come and go and buy newspapers and food.
You stand at the quiet window for a while
Then when you cried, there was his quiet voice
and when you laughed, there was his soft laughter.
But the gate that would open every evening is closed forever;
your youth is forsaken, the fire is cold, the house empty.
Translated from the Italian by Estelle Gilson.