CASUAL DECLENSION

by Alex Valente

Original Italian by Eleonora Pinzuti (1973 – ), ‘declinazione casuale’

Had I read better,

between the folds of chances
the cuneiform tract of the Sybil…
But I was far-sighted,
or maybe deaf,
sorrowful Ulysseid
lacking faithful band or lovely Circe.

No lotus in my fridge
(too far high the market shelf)
and no black hellebore
to return wits to the creature.
The fingers still trapped in the spool,
the distaff (my memory)
becomes clamp biting at the ankle…

Thus I blur,
though not with the heroism
of a Mishima:
I fade, perhaps,
with the packet of Marlboro
on the kitchen chair.

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