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People are going away
each one from the other
People are going away
and the space around me is expanding.

I translate this ‘space’
not as ‘breathing space’
but ‘outer space’
because I sent my flying saucers out there.

Thank you, Time,
my watch has stopped
Thank you, Window
just behind the grille a sparrow
is ready to lay her eggs.

Whoever, wherever, thanks to all of you
This is the time you’re all within me
I, a little bit in each of you.

The harmonium of my empty house
whines its moaning silence.
This empty time
filled with work
This is the time when I must translate
dirty linen into the dialect of water
Then a little while, stand still and think
if a sinkful of soapy water
can be translated
into the melody of a raga
Frankly, this whole house
I’d like to translate
into some other language.
But where will I find this language
except in the words my children speak?
By the time I finish, it’s evening
I’ll translate this evening into drawing the curtains
the splinters of last light
will fill up all the space
I’ll translate those splinters
not into outer space
but into my
breathing space.