an army of passions

He seems to me as happy as the gods,

This man, whoever he is, who sits beside you

Lapping up your words, your irresistible laugh.

But for me, each time I look at you,

A moment, for just a moment, my throat constricts

My voice, so thin, so tight.


I do not know if it is the air or your gaze that makes me shake so much.

And it’s freezing but I’m sweating as I look at you

And me, as green as grass; paler than the palest grass…

And truly, I am close to death…

Still, even this can be borne…


Translation by Jane Montgomery Griffiths

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