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from the September 2011 issue

For Álvaro Pombo

We are accomplices
and accomplices have no
reason to embrace or kiss
or mourn their own dead
or ours.  We live
in endless complicity
with shameful times
that have become scars and ashes
in our memory.  Dark days
that today are luminous mist
in Neuchâtel
or in brothels on Las Ramblas
whose ceremonies
we don’t attend but which we’re familiar with
because we’ve lived in brothels
and in dungeons
and in the incense
of basilicas.
Accomplices don’t even
need to love themselves.
They love, they walk
blindly, they don’t want to return to school
or home
or world literature.
It’s enough just to be accomplices
without knowing
or despite knowing.
And now I say or whisper:
Álvaro, do you understand the words
I will never utter?  Do you understand
the tears we cried
and will never cry again?
I, drowned,
in the bathroom
when you open the door
and I am there instead of the mirror
where you expected to find yourself.

Read more from the September 2011 issue
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