Two English Poems

The useless dawn finds me in a deserted streetcorner; I have outlived
the night.
Nights are proud waves: darkblue topheavy waves laden with all
hues of deep spoil, laden with things unlikely and desirable.
Nights have a habit of mysterious gifts and refusals, of things half
given away, half withheld, of joys with a dark hemisphere.
Nights act that way, I tell you.
The surge, that night, left me the customary shreds and odd ends:
some hated friends to chat with, music for dreams, and the
smoking of bitter ashes. The things my hungry heart has no
use for.
The big wave brought you.
Words, any words, your laughter; and you so lazily and incessantly
beautiful. We talked and you have forgotten the words.
The shattering dawn finds me in a deserted street of my city.
Your profile turned away, the sounds that go to make your name,
the lilt of your laughter: these are illustrious toys you have
left me.
I turn them over in the dawn, I lose them, I find them; I tell them
to the few stray dogs and to the few stray stars of the dawn.
Your dark rich life...
I must get at you, somehow: I put away those illustrious toys you
have left me, I want your hidden look, your real smile
—that lonely, mocking smile your cool mirror knows.




II


What can I hold you with?
I offer you lean streets, desperate sunsets, the moon of the ragged
suburbs.
I offer you the bitterness of a man who has looked long and long
at the lonely moon.
I offer you my ancestors, my dead men, the ghosts that living
men have honoured in marble: my father's father killed in
the frontier of Buenos Aires, two bullets through his lungs,
bearded and dead, wrapped by his soldiers in the hide of a
cow; my mother's grandfather —just twentyfour— heading
a charge of three hundred men in Peru, now ghosts on vanished
horses.
I offer you whatever insight my books may hold, whatever manliness
or humour my life.
I offer you the loyalty of a man who has never been loyal.
I offer you that kernel of myself that I have saved, somehow
—the central heart that deals not in words, traffics not with
dreams and is untouched by time, by joy, by adversities.
I offer you explanations of yourself, theories about yourself, authentic
and surprising news of yourself.
I can give you my loneliness, my darkness, the hunger of my
heart; I am trying to bribe you with uncertainty, with danger,
with defeat.
(Contributed by Maria on Monday, March 5th, 2012)
 
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