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This poem is taken from PN Review 142, Volume 28 Number 2, November - December 2001.

Waiting (translated by Marilyn Hacker) Guy Goffette

I

If you've come to stay, she says, don't speak.
The rain and the wind on the roof-tiles are enough
and the silence piled up on the furniture
like dust for centuries without you.

Don't speak yet. Listen to what was
the knife in my flesh: each step, a far-off laugh,
some mongrel barking, the car door slamming
and that train which continues to pass and pass

over my bones. Keep still: there's nothing to say.
Let the rain turn into rain again
and the wind be that tide beneath the shingles, let

the cur cry his name into the night, the car door
slam, the stranger leave, in this null place
where I was dying. Stay if you've come to stay.


II

I know, she used to cry out, I know: telephones
don't exist, it's the end of the world everywhere,
...


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