Cesare Pavese

Deola's Return

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I'll turn round in the street and look at the passers-by,
I'll be a passer-by myself. I'll learn
how to get up and lay aside the horror
of night and go out walking as I used to.
I'll apply my mind to work for a time,
I'll go back there, by the window, smoking
and relaxed. But my eyes will be the same,
my gestures too, and my face. That empty secret
that lingers in my body and dulls my gaze
will die slowly to the rhythm of the blood
where everything vanishes.

I'll go out one morning,
I won't have a house any more, I'll go out in the street;
the night's horror will have left me;
I'll be frightened of being alone. But I'll want to be alone.
I'll look at passers-by with the dead smile
of someone who's beaten, but doesn't hate or cry out,
for I know that since ancient times fate -
all that you've been or will ever be - is in the blood,
in the murmur of the blood. I'll wrinkle my brows
alone, in the middle of the street, listening for an echo
in the blood. And there'll be no echo any more,
I'll look up and gaze at the street.

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Cesare Pavese