the suit of the smiling mortician

Standard

“But every suit, since it isn’t eternal, lasts as long as it lasts; and soon, under the fraying clothes of the ideal we’ve formed, the real body of the person we dressed it in shows through. Romantic love is thus a path to disillusion, unless this disillusion, accepted from the start, decides to vary the ideal constantly, constantly sewing new suits in the soul’s workshops so as to constantly renew the appearance of the person they clothe.” –Fernando Pessoa

Black Postcards
Tomas Tranströmer
I
The calendar is full, future unknown.
The cable hums the folk song from no country.
Falling snow on the lead-still sea. Shadows
wrestle on the dock.

II
In the middle of life it happens that death comes
and takes your measurements. This visit
is forgotten and life goes on. But the suit is
sewn in the silence.

Original
Svarta vykort
I
Almanackan fullskriven, framtid okänd.
Kabeln nynnar folkvisan utan hemland.
Snöfall i det blystilla havet. Skuggor
brottas på kajen.

II
Mitt i livet händer det att döden kommer
och tar mått på människan. Det besöket
glöms och livet fortsätter. Men kostymen
sys i det tysta.