First Ride Home

I was sixteen when the truck broke down 

and parked despondently inside a mountain.

 

It was early winter.

I felt I was tossed into a vortex when the truck stopped with a screeching sound.

The headlamp was still on, like desperate eyes looking hard into a shroud 

of darkness and confused.

No stars, absolutely no stars;

They had fallen into the gaping mouth of the mountain,

waiting to be fished out by the invisible hands of a late morning.

Terrifying silence came, seeping in through the windshield.

It forced into my lungs and grabbed my heart, the stench of the night air.

I gasped.

 

The driver was fidgety, trying to call someone, 

No signal, he said and discarded the thought of rescue.

He was grumbling something unclear while he killed the engine.

His words lacerated the night.

 

I took the sleeping bag he gave me and crawled in, knowing

home was still far, far away…

Or in a good dream.

 

The Line He Draws

for Tomas Transtroemer

The line he draws on his notebook 

stretches out, endlessly, 

with the sound of an axe cutting the air, 

and continues its silent judgement, where 

the world is halved.

I’m on one side;

My deeds the other, falling soundlessly;

A rebuke— 

I cast my thought over 

into the realm of inanity.

It bounces like a morning dew 

on lifeless leaves.

Air is thinner there 

than a breath.

 

I grab hold of the line —the edge of existence, 

saved by an old hypothesis 

of death.

 

 

I Must Praise Your Body

I must praise your body; 

It’s like the earth’s dark soil

spoiled by the tropical sun, redolent of harvest,

I bury my eager hands into your fertility,

and bring out the rich greenery.

 

I drink from your lips the nectar of life; spring

is in your saffron-colored perianth.

My body is burning,

from my loins to my eyes,

the battlefield of virtue and sin.

 

I’m a proud man, broken by you.

The vengeance of love bends me;

The pain of love crushes me;

And forgetfulness saves me.

November, 2018

The sad blue sky’s clear dusts grope their way down 

toward the city,

The asphalt roads glimmer like ice.

Red lights dim, like eyes deprived of sleep, 

trying to understand the great mystery of the morning.

                      

An old man stands at an empty phone booth,  

looking at his map

on which a thousand places are marked,

                                                   with no names.

His walking stick dangles on his arm, 

a compass uncertain of the south, where

the sun throws a shadow.

  

Soot-colored silence,

a black cat,

jumps into an open window, the curtain tied back and knotted.

An army of houses stand vigil on the first day 

                                                   of a lunar winter 

The Painting On The Wall

While at first sight it gives us

a mutilated Spring,

all shades of green splash together and merge,

trying hard to bring something into form.

Like a small river in a grove where

a tender-faced nymph appeared

one morning

and walked smoothly into a pool

of algae,

dreaming of her own mortality.

 

Silence is on the canvas but loud in the myth

preserved inside a memory.

The nymph, her nudity on the river bed,

iridescent, the color

of mother-of-pearl.