I AM TWO

by Alex Valente.

Original Italian by Dacia Maraini (1936 – ), from ‘Viaggiando con Passo di Volpe’ (1991).

I am two
it’s clear now
I am two plus one
minus one makes two
for I am twice
born and twice dead
twice I was lost
maybe once more
because two and one makes three
times I’ve thrown myself
and once I’ve thrown up too
but maybe it was two
since there’s four of them
shaking me awake
as I sleep with dragon’s voice
and only once I loved
but it must be two hundred times
I touched joy
but not two hundred times born
because at onehundredandninetynine
I had enough so there
at two I forgot
were it not two it’d be none
it’s me and the other is two
take me as I am
two out of one and one of two.

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