A fountain's pulsing sobs—like this my blood Measures its flowing, so it sometimes seems. I hear a gentle murmur as it streams; Where the wound lies I've never understood. Like water meadows, boulevards are flooded. Cobblestones, crisscrossed by scarlet rills, Are islands; creatures come and drink their fill. Nothing in nature now remains unblooded. I used to hope that wine could bring me ease, Could lull asleep my deeply gnawing mind. I was a fool: the senses clear with wine. I looked to Love to cure my old disease. Love led me to a thicket of IVs Where bristling needles thirsted for each vein.
From Other Worlds Than This, translated by Rachel Hadas. © 1994 by Rachel Hadas. Reprinted with permission of Rutgers University Press. All rights reserved.