A person who is no longer here.
Like after a neutron bomb explodes,
You touch yourself—
where the memory of him is.
The noise of a train outside the faded curtain,
the barking of the neighbor’s dog from March to February,
are the sounds of our humanity-hating age,
and of one nonentity put in charge,
a spoon, your plate, a stream of water from the faucet,
a piece of soap,
which is by no means unimportant,
you have admit, there’s even the air
you breathe so as not to suffocate.
But the person’s not here. His dressing gown is empty.
Only his initials remain, you can stick anyone you like
but you can’t trick the emptiness
Translated by Andrew Wachtel