Behind glass the coral, a woven sea of pallid waves
stacked with care the stair of waves heaves free
crosswise the surf rolls up
and he, this architect of careful concrete masses
paints with brick a facade black with steam
installs a wooden table, its grains at loggerheads
inside it swarms with ships
a seahorse on the wall turns color
makes of itself a spectrum of grays and browns
never shall it try with brightened hues
to bring a detail to the fore
hidden behind the builder’s stony mass
four turtles sink their jaws into the ceiling
a lobster is tabled (octopus observes)
mussels link to cables and the seahorse
hitches its curly tail and flounders.
They have returned with many
to the deepest of this ghostly edifice
gouged in dark wood panels
Neptune has planted his trident
are these the kelp that sway along the stairs?
floors butt together without seams
standing on the tower I descry sails
mark two waves for every step
come, ply this marble sea
aboard this ship of variegated glass.
translated by Sam Garrett