translated by Andrew Wachtel
The rain’s dead noose suspended from the sky.
At dawn tomorrow your prison door will open.
You’ll gather up the manuscripts scattered in the corners
of your memory, measuring off the three square yards.
Two guards will enter and shove you from behind—they
will be your brothers. A priest will lean over you and whisper
some words, and you will recognize your lover in him. There will remain
just one friend, who will coldheartedly carry out the order.
Standing on the square you’ll cry out your last words, a couple of lines
you’ve been composing for years, bestowed on those who really need them.
And when the dust has cleared and your execution turns out to have been an error they’ll blame one another for it, thus killing you twice.