Lost Friends

Friends carried off by life
are the most difficult to appease, the most
tyrannical. Barbarians of an unknown land,
they sip the poison of silence and they grow
beyond all limits in the distance, a blind eye
to our loneliness. And to think that we were
brothers in arms, that we dug up buried treasure
from the same islands, from the most
barren of books. How things turn out.
Could all have been in vain? It seemed
that we were destined for the same
songs, for a more certain kind of love.
Well, well. And we cannot even understand
what happened.

— Rui Pires Cabral
Translated from the Portuguese by Alexis Levitin

Cabral, a Portuguese poet, lives and teaches in Lisbon.