My books closed again at Paphos’ name,
by Stéphane Mallarmé
It delights me to choose with solitary genius
A ruin, by foam-flecks in thousands blessed
Beneath hyacinth, far off, in days of fame.
Let the cold flow with its silence of scythes,
I’ll not ululate here in a ‘no’ that’s empty
If this frolic so white near the ground denies
To each site the honour of false scenery.
My hunger regaled by no fruits here I see
Finds equal taste in their learned deficiency:
Let one burst with human fragrance and flesh!
While my love pokes the fire, foot on cold iron
I brood for a long time perhaps with distress
On the other’s seared breast of an ancient Amazon.