But you are also of the others, of the ones who selected you. I belong to myself. I am and I feel, you say. And it’s true, you are as you are even if you change. And you belong to yourself even if you transform yourself into a woman or a tree who takes her long hair to another wind and its briefest branches to a limitless land that rests far away. You are because you feel what you say when you no longer have any breath like the hugs that you give and that you also—of course—request. It’s not about that giving and receiving so often repeated in other verses. It’s not about saying or lying, but of being and feeling just as you say. Yet however, the day does not cry for no reason nor does the light laugh to be difficult and because the depths of the heart is dark and the fire that breathes within you burns when the others do not see what you suffer just as you laugh sometimes when you feel that not everything is lost. You are or you are not and you are because you were defeated, the silence would say. I am and I come, you could say. You are and you return, I say when I see you naked in all those clothes that cover all of you except your eyes. When you breathe far away what you feel close by while you say, I live and I’m alive because I no longer lie to myself. And the phrase that no one before you could pronounce with that gentleness that time immortalizes that cannot flee from itself is like requesting a hug or giving one more closely if possible. One that even if it seems distant is very deep inside. Like that long hair that was yours and now turns dull. Like those wrinkled eyes that shine and the smell that is no longer the same and those hands that grasped you before your last fall when breathing was becoming difficult but you were forced to do it. You see, you are of the others, of the ones who selected you. But you are also what you feel and let the others see like when they took that picture of you that, despite the passing of the years, is the one that best captures you before so much destruction: sad and intensely with tears, with silent laments that were already forgotten because we are not defeated by weariness but by the love that confronts us with us. I belong to myself, I am and I feel. But you are also of the others, of the ones who selected you. Of the ones who loved you and love you, like those others who will also come to love you from afar when you no longer have any breath and you feel what you say.
Let us look at the window and see the sky petrified in fog. The light muffled gray or the hidden flight of the birds with white and mottled feathers when we didn’t know that species existed. Don’t you think about love? It truly doesn’t happen to you? It truly doesn’t happen to you frequently like when you go to a museum and a painting made by an artist who died long ago awaits you in the empty room? Pay close attention: it’s that sky, the same one you see through the window an April day when it seems to rain but doesn’t. It’s that tree, the same one that you see how it grows, drawn in detail, even from far away. It truly doesn’t happen to you that you believe you’ve lived it before? Knowing that you dreamt it one day. Recognizing that someone is speaking for you when you want to say something that goes beyond a half truth. Pay close attention, yes, and don’t turn your head that is sustained in the window with the support of some hands that are seen from outside. Rest your arms on the earth. Open your eyes, expect to see nothing at first. Feel the wind on your face and let yourself be carried away by the eternal silence of life which will await you, like one who awaits sitting on his heels, the first and true silence. It truly doesn’t happen to you? Don’t you think that this is how it is to almost always be alone like others who spend their lives in love? You open a window and see nothing. The fog doesn’t let you see a few meters, white light and white smoke that emerges from a non-existent fireplace. But you know you won’t hold back in spite of everything. That you will dare to look further in case something opens amidst the nothingness. That you will again breathe the frozen cold. That you will again think I’ve seen it before. I’ve already lived it at some time when we still didn’t know what it was that was happening to us.
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.