O Ancient, I am drunk on the voice
that breaks from your mouths when they unfold
like green bells, then collapse,
dissolving.
The house where I spent my summers long ago
stood, you know, at your side,
there in that land of searing sun where the
air goes hazy with mosquitoes.
O sea,
petrified by your presence then as now,
I think myself not worth the grave admonition
of your breath. You told me as a child
the petty ferment
of my heart was merely a moment
of yours; that your perilous law
lay deep in within me; to be vast and various,
but unchanging too,
and so cleanse myself of every foulness.
You showed me how, hurling onto the beaches
sea-wracked starfish cork, all
the waste of your abyss.

Eugenio Montale
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