To his Heart

from Italian, “A se Stesso,” by Giacomo Leopardi

Be you quiet now, Thing.

The last lie you served me, I swallowed,

but it is gone now; stricken entirely.

The one thing I see is our hope exhausted,

our hunger for the illusion

that these surfaces will support

us, but also our hunger for their hardening

in the first place.

Hush. Rest.

You work yourself up.

There is nothing worth all that beating,

and you spill care like blood; for what?

Life is always and only bitterness

and tedium. The world is mud.

Be quiet. Despair finally.

To us, to us all, Fate has left

only dying. Disprize then that nature,

the brutal power ruling this commune

of pain, and everything else which is vain.

— from Phases. Copyright © 2017. Used with permission of Cascade Books