A silent transvestite leaning against a post
is less sad than São João Avenue at dawn,
when the venereal north-easterly fog reclines against
the empty alien walls, and women
wait, and the drunk waits for his shadow
fallen on the road. The hour when the cats
sink on their question-mark tails with no answers
and sailors have sung and now wait and look at each other
waiting for their song, waiting to listen to it
and all languages are incomprehensible
like the wind waiting for itself
listening to its old wail of broken windows.

In the anonymous room barely lit up
by the outside neon, the lovers
are puppets of time: they listen to
night’s violent caresses, put their arms
round each other’s back soft as a dishevelled bed.
The wind gets trapped in the Avenue of acrid smells.
and the lovers fall asleep to the neon’s rhythm, untethered,
bottled-up, night among the posts.

Alfredo Fressia