Given that I write in a language
I need to awaken
when others sleep.
I write like someone who gathers water
from the walls,
I’m inspired by the first sun
on the walls.
I wake before everyone else,
but up high.
I write before dawn,
when I am almost the only one awake
and I can make mistakes
in a language I learned.
Line after line
I search for the prose of this tongue
that is not mine.
I don’t look for its poetry,
but instead to come down from the high floor
on which I wake up.
Line after line I strive,
while the others sleep,
to get a head start on the day’s lesson.
I listen to the noise of the pump
that brings the water to the cisterns
and while the water is rising
and the building grows damp,
I disconnect the other language
that in my sleep
entered into my dreams,
and as the water rises,
I descend line by line like one who
gathers language from the walls
and I reach so low down sometimes,
that I can allow myself,
as a luxury,
Translated by Lawrence Schimel