Sunday, 25 October 2009


I always have suspicions about someone sleeping next to me.
For a start, who is he?
Is he the same guy who touched me earlier, or someone else?
Are his eyes, his voice, the same colour?
I can’t see well in the dark.  I light a match.
His brow lightens, but his eyes,
the only evidence of truth, remain closed,
submerged in a fishy dusk,
perhaps ready to attack.
His hand, of course, remains gripped in my palm
callous, slightly damp, inert,
but it could well rise abruptly
deviously or violently at any moment to grab me by the throat.
Maybe he’s dreaming that he’s chasing me
through deserted quarries, through corridors,
he reaches me, lifts the knife,
aims between my eyes,
brings it slowly down.
The match has gone out.  I light another.
The dried spunk on his stomach
protects him with thick scales
He knows well how to defend himself behind his nakedness.
I look closer.
His shoulders inspire trust,
suntanned, strong and smooth,
His neck, turned to the right,
looks like it wants to be caressed, but the hand
hanging down to the floor has its own life,
probably its own plans.  It’s dark again.
He stirs in his sleep.  He moves.
He turns towards me.
He stretches out his right arm, wraps it round my waist.
His legs are entangled with mine,
has the hour struck?
Silence again.  I feel his body leaning
heavier on me.
Now I’m certain.
Murderers sleep like babies
a sleep full of milk before they hit.
I must be on the alert.

It’s dawning.

Translated from the Greek by Yannis Goumas

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