by Eugenio Montale (translated from the Italian by Charles Wright)
The cries of owls, or the intermittent hearbeats
of dying butterflies,
or the moans and sighs
of the young, or the error that tightens
like a garrote around the temples, or the vague horror
of cedars uprooted by the onrush of night--all this
can come back to me, overflowing from ditches,
bursting from waterpipes, and awaken me
to your voice. The music of a slow, demented dance
cuts through; the enemy clangs down
his visor, hiding his face. The amaranth moon
enters behind the closed eyelids, becomes a swelling
cloud; and when sleep takes it
deeper in, it is blood beyond any death.
Source: Poems of Sleep and Dreams. Everyman's Library, 2004. 50.