At night three elements enjoy our bodies.
Fire, water, air. One moment you're water
then air the next, but flame encircles all.
At night we are reduced, small bits of tar,
soot on our skins, in cups. A storm enters
the room and clouds the mirror. There are others
from far away who look on us as food,
they eat and drink. They find each orifice
and enter us. Our bodies then become
the final element of earth and turn
to ash, dust, coal, compost where insects live
and snails leave tracks you ask about at dawn.
Once, at the world's end, I threw a stone into
the open mouth of hell; I can't complain.
Copyright © English Translation and Introduction 2013 by Mira Rosenthal