844. Avigliana, by Primo Levi

Heaven help the man who wastes the full moon
That comes only once a month.
Damn this town,
This stupid full moon
That shines placid and serene
Exactly as though you were with me.

...There is even a nightingale,
As in books of the last century.
But I made him fly away,
Far off, to the other side of the ditch:
It's all wrong for him to sing
While I am so alone.

I've left the fireflies alone
(There were lots of them all along the path),
Not because their name resembles yours,
But they are such gentle dear little creatures;
They make every care vanish.
And if someday we want to part,
And if someday we want to marry,
I hope the day will fall in June,
With fireflies all around
Like this evening, when you are not here.

(trans Ruth Feldman and Brian Swann)

Source: Collected Poems

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