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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Mary Szybist - The Troubadours Etc.

Just for this evening, let's not mock them.

Not their curtsies or cross-garters

or ever-recurring pepper trees in their gardens

promising, promising.


At least they had ideas about love.


All day we've driven past cornfields, past cows poking their heads

through metal contraptions to eat.

We've followed West 84, and what else?

Irrigation sprinklers fly past us, huge wooden spools in the fields,

lounging sheep, telephone wires,

yellowing flowering shrubs.


Before us, above us, the clouds swell, layers of them,

the violet underneath of clouds.

Every idea I have is nostalgia. Look up:

there is the sky that passenger pigeons darkened and filled—

darkened for days, eclipsing sun, eclipsing all other sound

with the thunder of their wings.

After a while, it must have seemed that they followed

not instinct or pattern but only

one another.


When they stopped, Audubon observed,

they broke the limbs of stout trees by the weight of the numbers.


And when we stop we'll follow—what?

Our hearts?


The Puritans thought that we are granted the ability to love

only through miracle,

but the troubadours knew how to burn themselves through,

how to make themselves shrines to their own longing.

The spectacular was never behind them.


Think of days of those scarlet-breasted, blue-winged birds above you.

Think of me in the garden, humming

quietly to myself in my blue dress,

a blue darker than the sky above us, a blue dark enough for storms,

though cloudless.


At what point is something gone completely?

The last of the sunlight is disappearing

even as it swells—


Just for this evening, won't you put me before you

until I'm far enough away you can

believe in me?


Then try, try to come closer—

my wonderful and less than.

Mary Szybist - To You Again

Again this morning my eyes woke up too close
to your eyes,


their almost green orbs
too heavy-lidded to really look back.


To wake up next to you
is ordinary. I do not even need to look at you


to see you.
But I do look. So when you come to me


in your opulent sadness, I see
you do not want me


to unbutton you
so I cannot do the one thing


I can do.
Now it is almost one a.m. I am still at my desk


and you are upstairs at your desk a staircase
away from me. Already it is years


of you a staircase
away from me. To be near you


and not near you
is ordinary.


are ordinary.


Still, how many afternoons have I spent
peeling blue paint from


our porch steps, peering above
hedgerows, the few parked cars for the first


glimpse of you. How many hours under
the overgrown, pink Camillas, thinking


the color was wrong for you, thinking
you'd appear


after my next


Soon you'll come down the stairs
to tell me something. And I'll say,


okay. Okay. I'll say it
like that, say it just like


that, I'll go on being
your never-enough.


It's not the best in you
I long for. It's when you're noteless,


numb at the ends of my fingers, all is
all. I say it is.