Ah, si tú supieras cómo se vive solo
más allá del encuentro de la muerte.
Más lejos de la ciudad soñada,
atado a un sendero de pocos metros
donde se abre el mar a lo lejos
y los árboles nos muestran la senda del cielo.
Si tú supieras.
No es un paraje solitario la vida
pero vive a su aire su reflejo.
No es un alma escondida
ni un susurro negado.
No es el frío de la hierba
ni la humedad de la montaña
con el polvo reseco de la autopista.
¿Cómo se dice en tu lengua la palabra camino? ¿Cuáles son tus aficiones? ¿Cuáles tus distracciones?
(Fragmento de La felicidad de estar perdido en la revista trimestral brasileña «Athena», nº 9 de 2019).
I KNOW what your eyes saw when with an absent gaze you fled to no man’s land. I know how hard it is to feel nothingness when you are the edge of the abyss and calm is a whisper in the distance. I know what it is to ask god for life and believe in nothing. I know what it is like to feel alone when everything around is silent and you only hear the sound of silence adrift. I know what it is to feel love and hate in the uncertainty of desire if what you write is forgotten in an instant. Like having everything and having nothing. Writing a poem and nothing. Your name below and you are no one.
SKY OF WOLVES
You must have seen that there are barely questions. I write with a hand taken from the heart and it hurts to feel that some birds have been cut down with the same hand. We used to be wild dogs down tunnels where no one dares walk alone. Nothing more than the flight of those birds of prey and a pack of wolves at the front door. The answers reside far from the questions. They talk about truth with no emotion.
ASK THE men if it is right to renounce everything in love as well. Ask the children if they agree with what they’re being taught. Ask the mothers if they love the life that they have.
Ask the women of course if they carry flowers in dreams and if they bleed in the midst of dreams when they awake. Ask the gods if they have met.
Ask the poets if the song is music and if thinking is the end or the beginning of thought. Ask the lovers if they’re conscious of their wealth.
Ask dreams if freedom feels what the eyes can see. And if it’s wise to be silent or preferable to flee from the word that is spoken until its true echo resounds.
MY MINISCULE HEART
When my heart was outside of me I could never write a poem. I tried, but I couldn’t. Neither could I write a letter to my mother for example telling her I loved her. Nor could I write a note to my closest friend telling him that the keys to my house were on the red flowerpot next to the front door. When my heart was lost in the immensity of time and eternal indifference I couldn’t write a word. To my love for example telling her I missed her and awaited her return like rain that arrives daily. Nothing. Not a poem, not a letter. Not a note, not a forgotten memory. I could do nothing but wait for her to come home to write this verse now where I say that I truly love you even if I’ve never told you before feeling my miniscule heart as I never felt it before when it was on the inside.
AND YOUR EYES WILL COME
And your eyes will come to show me the light in the midst of the chaos. And your words will come to gather me up. Your arms to circle back to where I got lost. Like mud in your hands I will set my water-pitcher soul on one side of the forest of truth my warrior body on the other with a sword incapable of cutting the brush from the path. I’m not surrendering but I’m exhausted. And your hands will come to touch me in the distance because I got lost in the thicket that covers desire until I thought I didn’t believe in love. I toughened up and stopped laughing. Perhaps it’s the way it should be, you tell me. I know that certainties end up ceding to the violence of the ocean. That the ocean returns everything with its waves and illusions —a unique world— so that light is reborn because there’s nothing left to do, fighting this battle is no longer necessary when one always, yes, always, ends up losing. Freedom is choosing a path it is misidentifying destiny with those who cannot and know not how to join us. Freedom that is so afraid of loneliness. The loneliness that is so mistaken when it is desire that is in control. When obsessions with love are what govern the beat of feelings in the face of an old man where once there was a child. Where there was sea and now only desert. Where one sees heaven and no one knows it. Where there was something and now it’s different. And your hands will come to show me the path. Your arm to remove the bewildering vegetation that grows across my eyes while watching the world pass by seated in an armchair in the room that no longer has a window because the few that existed have been painted black. Were you truly in love? And if you weren’t why did you not know what could happen in the dark vegetation that dominated your whole body and placed its certainty at the feet of the most unlikely blows? We hurt what we love while pain shelters its seed in our hearts and is born at the wrong time and everything becomes a hard shell. But your words will come making me doubt everything. What I was and did. What I am and do. To tell me, no, don’t, don’t think about it anymore now. And give me your hand, OK? And in my answer —that could only be a stammering— you’ll come tell me: yes, I’d like you to do it while holding me tight. I cannot write at this distance the words that I said, only the ones that came to see me: I’m kissing you too not hard, but slowly. Perhaps then we would have to wait for the wall lizards to illuminate the path of that night where there were so many mosquitos and the butterflies accompanied the light to its destiny, even dying. I too fall asleep with my eyes open. Will you let my hands close them for you? And your eyes will come to mine so I can sleep easy. And your hand will come to mine so that sleep can draw the path that is now uncovered. And your nocturnal silence will come to be a word that only I —for now—can hear. Relax now, my love, relax. Because even though you’re still fragile the tiny light will be able to break your shell. Relax now, my love, relax.
THE AIR YOU BREATHE
The air you breathe when you go outside. That you breathe in when you’re sleeping. The same air you breathe if you stay awake. That you breathe out when you walk beyond the street corners without realizing the importance of staying alive. The particles of your heart in the muscles of life. The tranquility of time in the monotony that envelops you. What remains and advises you. What touches and overcomes you. What you can and cannot see but you understand. The air accompanies you while an invisible hand envelops you at a short distance from that which shines in the morning and remains adrift and languishes later in the day. When you sleep without contemplating death attended by complete darkness that opens the windows to the day so it can air out the room and remove flavor from the consciousness of the scent of the night. The scent that inhabits you receiving nothing in return and envelops you on the inside with the passing of the days like a nonexistent water lamp or a jug of enveloping light that left an innocent hand in the path to resuscitate life without the power of thought at every instant or the invocation to the passing of present time.