Deborah Elliott Deutschman

Paul Celan, Years Later, in Paris


He goes over to one of the windows,
The pale dim dawn light hurts his eyes--
or maybe it's the cigarette smoke,
having been up again half the night,
sitting at his desk.
He stares at the off-focus movie
of snow falling in the window.

He thinks of other dawns.
Of waiting in terminals locked in time.
On the transport trains
far from any realm remotely ever human.
Until he notices the room is lighter.

The Book of Night is over, he says,
addressing the invisible ones
who are almost always there with him.
We have arrived, he says,
in a place so quiet
the snow barely falling
echoes total stillness and calm:
a sacred harbor--
after having been
in worlds for which there are no words.
Here in the empty infirmary of winter.
Now look,
the convalescent's cloudless blue.
See how the amnesia of dawn offers its balm.


© 2015 Deborah Elliott Deutschman - All Rights Reserved -