Where There’s Ice

By Paul Celan

Where there’s ice, it’s cool for two.
For two: so I let you come.
A breath as of fire was around you—
You came from where the rose is.

I asked: what did they call you back there?
You told it to me, that name:
a glare as of ashes coated it—
From where the rose is you came.

Where there’s ice, it’s cool for two:
I gave you the double name.
You opened your eye beneath it—
A luster lay over the hole in the ice.

Now I close, is what I said, my own—:
Take this word—my eye spoke it to yours!
Take it, repeat it after me,
repeat it after me, say it slowly,
say it slowly, draw it out,
and your eye—keep it open the while!

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