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and will wear your eyes

February 3, 2009

Death will come and will wear your eyes –
the death that is with us
from morning to evening, sleepless,
deaf, like an old regret
or an absurd vice. Your eyes
will be a futile word,
a cry kept silent, a silence.
Thus you see them every morning
when alone you stoop over yourself
in the mirror. O dear hope,
that day we too will know
that you are life and nothingness.

Death keeps an eye on each of us.
Death will come and will have your eyes.
It will be like giving up a vice,
like watching a dead face
re-emerge in the mirror,
like listening to closed lips.
We will go down into the vortex mute.

[22 March 1950]

Cesare Pavese
tr.
Marco Sonzogni & David Wheatley

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