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Abelardo Sanchez Leon

Everything Indicates That It Was in Turin

Translated by Michael L. Smith

Stretched out on the bed, Pavese, with life on your back,
suddenly your hand scratching your knee, your neck, a cigarette,
the limpid water in your eyes, in pyjamas or bvd's
but anybody can live like that, being alive like a snail hanging on
the wall,
sticky, anybody can spread a whole lifetime like that
there in a hotel, in a room upstairs, the empty corridor
how many years, who knows,
writing a reluctant poem, at eleven in the morning,
ashes scattered on the linen, surrounded by butts, a glass of water, the sun in the window -- all laziness and sloth -- or the rain
with that buzzer hanging on the headboard to see the face of
the waiter,
of the girl that tends the beds, of the guy that washes and pushes
the broom across the carpets,
a pair of pictures to recognize the world, a landscape,
a man or woman keeping you company,
Pavese, and the sea shifts,
breaks on the sand, a shoeless foot, seagulls in the wind,
but anybody can live like that, the limpid water in your eyes
the hours, the head
everything that happens happens in you in these minutes,
outside there are no steps, there is nobody,
nobody drops by for you, Pavese, nobody asks for you, Pavese,
your mother has abandoned you forever: a room, a hotel,
let some sensation into your body, a scratch of pain,
a memory of something that's going to end up like a cigarette in
an ashtray,
or naked, pacing back and forth, nobody will knock on the door,
one last poem,
the limpid water in your eyes, and he never went out again.

Adjoining Rooms, 1972

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