Guavas; At Times an Unknown Star
It’s the guavas. Hanging up there,
warm, earthy, the rouse of remembered passion.
Watching them, my mind doesn’t bend
to deny I’m not able to feel anything,
as I begin to hear again the weapons
that waken death in the world. Today,
if I’m not running away from lifeless life,
I try to enter a city where people
made me see myself as a nightmare
which didn’t approve of sanctions and fear.
Elsewhere, men plunder and kill. Someone
speaks of a lonely village wife who wanders
from one night of rape to another, wanting
only to survive in her children.
I breathe deeply of this air of habit,
the air of guavas whose green only moves
from the sensuousness of a cage to cage.
Unlike them I wish I wouldn’t have to fight,
feel the wild throb of forgotten lust,
rearrange those dead of mine who had killed
themselves or died of penury or heart attacks
until they awakened again, blessed,
and not feel the spasms of fear I express.
Today it’s of no use to find whether
the game we’re in denies us or not.
Truth is never caught by the dry and ugly
governments which do not change.
When I awake on this particular morning,
I have no idea I could court danger
for a cause I only half understand.
A green which can make me hide my own nature
still goes on feasting on the innocences
of childhood, watching me; the endless bags
under their eyes trembling sadly
to the wind whistling past our years.
At Times an Unknown Star
At times an unknown star falls down
the edge of the ravine, pretending innocence,
and something reminds me that pain began
when my father led me into those lands
where laws have never been broken.
I am somewhere else today, the television
is on; and history, that undiscovered country
I’d once thought it to be, only pushed me
into childhood where we learnt
to spread our arms wide for love and honor.
Almost everyone talks the same way about love:
they say there is this time that humbles one
as if one were that empty corner of the street
meant for the day’s litter, when the heart
can’t believe it is hiding, startling it
into a thousand starlings, flying through
the light, rousing others to flight.
I’d begin to believe my country was different,
that poetry and science and religion
walk still the same road; they could deceive;
that the clutch in the throat is made
of moonlight and rushes in the shallows of the river.
Down the street a water faucet is open,
gushing into the gutter. Another star falls
as I wait, and the time inside me rises
to the edge of my life like long shadows
falling across the grass that has lost its green.
Bulbuls begin to sing from nearby trees once again;
like many others I realize I live
for just one such moment, when pain
with its invisible mouth closes around the rim
of my glass, and I stare at this bared heart,
a clown in a circus with his perpetual smile.