I was walking alone in the sun In the noonday heat, when I saw a house With shutters closed, the sight of which Pained me so much, I could have Been born there and left inconsolably.
The ochre walls, the battered old door I was tempted to push open and didn’t, Knowing already the coolness of the entrance, The garden with a palm tree beyond, And the dark stairs on the left.
Shutters closed to cool shadowy rooms With impossibly high ceilings, And here and there a watery mirror And my pale and contorted face To greet me and startle me again and again.
“You found what you were looking for,” I expected someone to whisper. But there was no one, neither there Nor in the street, which was deserted In that monstrous heat that gives birth To false memories and tritons.
Charles Simic, from “Via Del Tritone,” A Wedding in Hell,” (Harcourt Brace & Co., 1994)