In a filmy stench of slaughterhouse
I see the image of my body, half-naked,
ignored, almost dead. This is the way,
since childhood — already then my love’s
automaton—I’ve wanted to be crucified,
with a flash of tender horror.
But behind this mist of marrow
(how many years or centuries fixed here?),
o Individual, o Second Self,
you find you’re made of me, my heat,
and hostile to a death anterior to mine.

I come to you from an intoxicating voyage.
I touched, in light-struck days,
the blackened walls and dew-damp grasses
of Casarsa, offered, with a warrior’s
casual grace, my naked body to the Po’s,
the Meschio’s, the Livenza’s fresh,
most ancient, languid time, played
on the verge of a reaching plain,
on burning meadows, under endless skies,
in houses basking in the rainbow-womb
of a thousand aromas, tender, rarified.

And I come into your circle, bitter,
fresh as my mother at evening, crossing
the threshold, jeweled in dry grasses,
and I bring with me a wind of countrysides,
a stately nimbleness, a stranger’s candid
courage. And you exude only silence.
O, complete unknown that you once were,
the boy lost in the house, the young bourgeois
who nourished the loved heart’s spurious
loves, now you’re nothing,
THE NOTHING, pure error.

This is how, o famished, o obscure desire,
with a look out of pre-human ages,
you express your maniac life.
The world’s life is your mania.
From me you only want what corresponds
to your mad toil at self-annihilation.
You ignore my century’s every attraction,
every holiday, every passion learned
in the years of a self-inspired life.
You refuse to see that eternity, in time,