Happy Birthday, Cesare Pavese (September 9, 1908 - August 27, 1950)
The sound of grinning traffic on wet stones,
open summer windows, the smell of old boots
tossed against grey shrubbery... a young couple
passing arm in arm toward a love-rippling bed.
And comes a picture of you alone with your pills...
your own voice dead too soon... too-barbituate-soon.
And your red clouds gargled lost love or decay
or both at the sad same time. You splintered soul.
And comes the sound of you walking past houses
scented with window box roses, bowls of peaches,
a woman's new black slip, dirty leaves in the pockets
of raw-muscled children, ungainly dreamers of new
power lines stretching from weeping hills
to hard-lesson villages... something always moving.
There was no touching any of it... without taking a spear
to the heart, was there? Every love-glance moment
gone before you could ragged-waltz embrace it.