Every morning I create the world anew:
When I die, the world dies with me.
You who carry the gentle illusion that it is you
Who freshen the world each day, not I,
Know that you too are doomed to obliterate
All you see and love. This is the only task handed on,
And carries no inherited virtue, for man’s life is vanishing thought.
Each generation flatters itself: the present is no runner’s baton
But simply a tide, receding in order to be forgotten,
Successfully wiping the world clean.