Translation, from German, of Mascha Kaléko’s “Das letztes Mal”

“The last time”

It seems you’ve gone. Your last word
still faintly clinking in my chamber:
the brittlest shimmer lingered
some lovely hours. Gone, then, as before.

Long have I known the sharp increment
of your faltering redoubt.
Long now, unbidden, have I sensed
you seeking my window out,

and often hear unspoken
some muted sinking phrase;
and often the familiar knocking
at the door. Gone, same as always.

Berlin (Charlottenburg district)
44 Mommsen St.
1938

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