I had metrnand my destination, the west, France.rnA few jerks, a junction, switch points,rnrepercussions on the seat back and on the occiput,rna few calls to the landscape of the waking world,rnas if the unexpected loneliness of new spacernleft me naked and muffled, and armless too,rnand instead of names I named syllables,rnthat stood watch, by the fire,rnand covered my shoulders; Francesco,rnBeppe, M a s . . . he slid with the rehearsalrnof the ancient step, the last S in the channel of sleep,rnbut I saw them living and unblurred,rnarmed in the time of daylight, and afterwards I came backrninto those waters, ocean dropsrnwith which the moment is imbued,rncradle of painless rc-births, new visions,rnbrother continent in the gilding waters new.rnNow I remember July, its glimmer, its blue,rnnow I remember, as Fm talking m timernI listen to the second-hand and the transistor’s crackle,rnbut that night the beloved month disappeared,rnthe date of my birth, the name was left,rnlost in the threshold months, in the billowing passages;rnin sleep, which brings the living and the dead together,rnand melts storm and heat, burns the snow in brightnessrnof summerrnburns the snow, and with April rains washesrnthe streets glittering in the June light.rnSo it happens, agesrnmerge in unforgotten moments,rnstories and destinies dissolve in movement,rnpure rush of power,rnflight grazing the soil to our common west.rnSo, at times, the forgotten man walks in the shadernthat approaches,rncut to the bone in her, timeless sister,rnso, into the world of the shades merged by darkness,rninto its brazier, in the center, into the throbbingrnuniversal breath I slipped, into sleep.rnAs from the dark of a cave the dimrnlight, little by little, coheresrnbefore the eyes, and frets and piercesrnthe black that seemed eternal and unredeemable,rnout of pity, perhaps, for glowingrnmolecules lost in the outskirts of the night,rnor because it’s attracted by the eyes and the authorityrnof the mind that pursues light,rnso was that dark brightened up with the snowrncircling and shedding luster on the night,rnand beyond the shaft I sawrnthe threshold of winter: silence,rnstretches of snow, larches.rnValdieri, and Christmas Eve,rnthe fire, caught in a glimpse, blinkingrnfrom the windows, in the frost, and the treernas tall as me, like me a child.rnSoon I shall enter, go through the door, go meetrnthe people in the celebrating housernwith just this shudder brought from the outer world,rnthe impulse of the blood that in the frost enlivened me.rnFootprints toward the path of pines,rnlittle shoes that would lead far away,rnAndonno, the great valley,rnthe black river of the woods and of the poachers.rnEverything shone out of the glass, and flame wasrnthe fire in the hearth, the months and the words,rnthe cigarettes, the wine that flickeredrnglinting quick in the glasses.rnSo, as in the dark of a cave the lightrncrumbles, and as it is bornrnsuddenly lost like the lightningrnvanished before you could even say “it’s lightning,”rnand a sound of water unexpectedly leads you,rnthe flow of an unknown riverrnor a thread of stream alongside the wallrnand from the damp rock under the feet an enfeebledrnfog, despite everything, rises and guides you,rnclear and translucent between eyes and mouth in the dark,rnso was I physically takenrnby a sound of water beyond my own dark,rninto the temporal passage of time and into sorrow,rnI doubled birth and New Year’s Day,rnand was in the cold of January, hopeless,rnin corso Dante. Horse-chestnuts, snow-hut.rnFrom corso Nizza I saw my mother,rndark, from a distance,rnhow dark they were the horse-chestnuts and the fir trees,rnbut on the way she had her arms clutched to her body,rnas though she endured the chill to steal it from me.rnEach month is a person, a year,rnan age, time does not pass over usrnatemporal, it urges us, carvesrnits figures like tattoos without anesthesia,rnthus I had a pain in the part of the bodyrnwhich between skin and flesh drives to occiput and heart.rn”For how long, then?”rn”Until the texture shattersrnand the fibers become unreachablerneven to the last look, to memory.”rn”In this same cruelty of October,rnin the shivers of the brook, in this fallingrnI feel a sort of universal pityrnthat preceded genesis and justifies it.rnWhy shouldn’t it survive us?”rn”What remains of the explored earth,rnand of the fields where wc have built our history,rnif it won’t be a man,rnone who drinks and bleeds,rnthe one to whom we’ll be handing on the baton?”rnCalm, a sea of oil, morning light,rnso, like a ligurian awakening among palmsrnand pines with slow motion brightens the room,rnthe stillness of that sea came over my eyes,rnand many I saw again in thought, lost in the years,rnsince empty was the desk and the schoolroom closed,rnin June, and the black apron became a memory.rn30/CHRONICLESrnrnrn