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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

What the Living Do - Marie Howe, 1998


Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably
    fell down there.
And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes
    have piled up

waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we
    spoke of.
It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep headstrong blue, and the sunlight
    pours through

the open living room windows because the heat’s on too high in here, and
    I can’t turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street,
    the bag breaking,

I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying
    along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my
    wrist and sleeve,

I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called
    that yearning.

What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to
    pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss – we want more and more and
    then more of it.

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the
    window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing
    so deep

for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m
    speechless:

I am living, I remember you.