Summer slows down at September’s edge The city silent & in the sloe scapular of twilight A thin, crisp seam of smoke You can almost hear the crack & splinter Of summer’s gold aflame, see the sunburnt shell Man beside it strange But what if any is The negative nature of shade They used to keep an empty space Should a god or their beloved Come. What you’ve left is raw & will stay A setting. It’s there for you, it’s ready
Quiet city colder now Straw-like the lazy air Bronze, then burgundy Then another red called lust When not wine & all The country autumn Clothed. Lazy the bronze Like air lay burgundy, then ash But disquieted of all hands soon You were & weary, restless The sleepless nights swam Away caesuraed, islanded Abroad by echoes to further & Such mourning songs Where shall I take my love She sang, when you won’t have it, where
ALEXANDER BOOTH lives in Rome. A recipient of a 2012 PEN Heim Translation Fund Grant for translations from the German poetry of Lutz Seiler, poems and translations have most recently appeared online and in print at Asymptote, Dear Sir, FreeVerse, Konundrum and Modern Poetry in Translation. In addition, he keeps a weblog on (mostly) Rome in literature and Roman literature, Misera e stupenda città. Work can also be found at Wordkunst.