I don’t know whether to return to the past
and see myself at the end of a distance
that freezes time
and quiets the stabbings of the heart.
Behind insipid gestures
the truth of things.
Then calm arrives
the fluidity of future itself.
The word sustains silence without knowing it
and silence drills the pulse of poetry
in our palms.
I don’t know whether to turn my head
in the instant when the shadow turns
to count steps
that place us one in front of another.
It’s February and in the mail
a handwritten letter
from someone I rejected.
Is it righteous or resigned?
It is repudiation.
It is permanence.
It is nothing when you begin.
Time while you are.
Something when you arrive.
Being a name when you die.
But more difficult still:
a man when you’ve lost everything.
Someone when it’s hard
to even open your mouth.
Just like the words that are said
and not heard.
Just like February that stops us from seeing
what is there beyond our shadow.
Just like silence without even trying.
Reducing life to a gesture is insanity.
Translating life to a month can’t be done.
Nor summarizing its steps in a book.
But shouting, shouting can.
While light advances
toward the inside of my eyes
in this letter I read
someone dares do it
and writes it out by hand
as if writing in my name.
I don’t know if it’s worth
placing oneself in an ending
as other people see us.
In a dark time
when the names
that were written on walls
fall of their own weight.
Being how we think we are
is entirely good.
But being different from others
is too daring
if in daily gestures
the truth of things is concealed.

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