Antwerp

I think again
of my city again
of the silver umbilical cord
and the blindfolded houses
of the late Monday sun
and of the scent of the women
how they drank the dew of my voice

I stroke their pallid cheeks
the sodden red of their lips
I still have a hundred hands
of longing
a thousand fingers
of regret

From Already I Scent the Stars (lk ruik de sterren al, 1987)
By Adriaan de Roover
Translated by Tanis Guest

First published in The Low Countries, 1998