Your Hand

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Your Hand full of Hours, you came to me – and I said:
‘Your Hair is not brown.’
So you lifted it, lightly, onto the Balance of Grief, it was
Heavier than I…

They come to you on Ships, make it their load, then place it
on sale in the Markets of Lust –
You smile at me from the Depths, I weep at you from the
Scale that’s still light.
I weep: Your hair is not brown, they offer Salt-Waves of the
Sea, and you give them spume.
You whisper: ‘They’re filling the World with me now, and for you
I’m still a Hollow-Way in the Heart!
You say: ‘Lay the Leaf-Work of Years beside you, it’s Time that you
came here and kissed me!
The Leaf-Work of Years is brown: your Hair is not brown.

© Paul Celan