Desine, Paulle, meum lacrimis urgere sepulcrum: nempe tuas lacrimas litora surda bibent. Propertius, IV.11 Don’t cry for me, for only the senseless stones will drink your tears, I’ll never see you cry, for tears are no more than splinters of a lurid globe which only knows its orb and nothing more.
The dead don’t know how to cry, they don’t have any hopes to lose, any illusions to bargain for. They’re lost like limpid feathers of a slow bird, too slow to make it to the other shore.
Don’t cry for me, for I shall never be there for you. I’ll never wipe your tears, my palm is very cold and you would shudder if I could touch you as I used to do.
They say that we are mixed with dust from fallen stars, that we have our names engraved upon the sun, that we disturb the consciousness by our sudden springing from non-existence. Don’t believe it.
I walk within a crowd of other women, all moving backwards. We can see the shores of chance, the bleeding death of solitary planets. We lose our way so many times that we don’t understand if we are still on our track or gone forever. Don’t pity me, for I shall never take the warmth of your emotion, keep it to yourself each time when you remember me.
I am a house with shut windows. I am a child squeezed by its cradle. I am a name without sound. I am my mother’s milk that burned my lips.
Don’t cry for me, I beg you. I can hear, not you, for you are far away, but subtle motions within the stars, that cattle of the space which roams through us and plucks the blades of light, the giant stars, so ripe their stems are bending down.
My soul still resonates within my hollow body like a dry pea inside a rattle.
I cannot fall asleep, the other women’s crying wakes me up. Some don’t believe they’re dead and call their husbands, call their children, this is unbearable. I do not cry for you, I never call our child, because I know that you can’t take me from here.
It is so dark, it snows all the time, if I can speak of time. We try to cling to each other and to sit together upon the frozen earth, but we get only colder, the flakes of snow do not melt upon our lips.
I say your name with my numb lips, I keep your face enframed by my cracked pupils, I call you for my own sake with a frozen tongue. I touch my sunken chest, my heart is there, it lies like a dead bird inside the cage, it holds a poppy’s grain in its half-opened beak.
We look into each other’s faces as into a mirror, they’re like a surface of an evening pond, connecting things to their reflections. You didn’t know the dead are so talkative, I look into your face when I imagine you, my letter is a pilgrim passing through the night, when I begin to think that you may ever hear my letter, I begin to smile, my mouth opens wide, my lips are scarlet on the inside, my smile is burning in the dull despondent crowd like a fresh tulip thrown in the dirt, it’s seen from far away, the only lucid spot in the enormous space of ghastly night, it blazes like the flame of a light-house showing escape to other souls.
I wrote this letter never to be sent by ship, by carriage, with a pigeon.
I wrote this letter never to be read to tell my husband that he shouldn’t cry.