A heady fall over the cliff of decency
And here’s the gift of it
We were set on our fellows like dogs and the whole pack of us licked the hunter’s hand
We arrived at daybreak while geese followed the river, tilting their necks skyward
We looted the workshop while orphans huddled above us. Carried off gold, blue, rose, cinnamon, smoke, violet
The violet, home to our wives
Inventario de bienes secuestros: tenedores, cuchillos, cucharas, salero de mesa, garrafón de aceite de oliva
Una camisa limpia de ropa blanca, dos sábanas de lino ordinario, una campanilla con cadena de plata
Plunder in a florid hand
An old woman’s lifting the tent flaps
We’re going under
Looting the remnants, swatches of scarlet
Line 3 is quoted from Nadeshda Mandelstam’s Hope Against Hope.
Lines 7-8, from a document in the archives of the Spanish Inquisition: Inventory of sequestered goods: forks, knives, spoons, salt cellar, demijohn of olive oil, a clean linen shirt, two plain muslin sheets, a little bell on a silver chain.