The Golden Age
--Emmanuel Moses (trans. Marilyn Macker)
Everything is rare in this delicate kingdom
fruit and sealing-wax
silk as well as steel.
A bouquet of flowers
costs more than what would fill a purse
the dead, like the living, must do without.
On sunny days
--which are numbered also--
ladies go out, their parasols in hand
they stroll beside the canals
till the hour when the reddening sun scissors
then erases them like a repentant painter.
Behind the latticed windows, people play music
while drinking wine.
Spinet or lute accompanies the passer-by
who feels an inexplicable pang.
Memories of lace are rustling everywhere
and the swan's dawn cry
[via oberlin college press]