WHEN EVENING COMES
Everyone here has so many faces,
And I have only a few. I have
to wear the same faces over and over.
Because of this the people here think me unfriendly,
they warn their children against me, they complain
my language deafens them, stuffed like dead husks
in their ears. When evening comes I taste my food alone.
Has he who owns little disowned much?
One should not pick ripe fruit from the dead tree,
my parents once taught me. There is a freedom
we only pretend to understand.
When you let a thing go, how far does it fall
in one second? How far does it fall in a year?
And don’t you fall too, with the same speed and in the opposite direction?
The number of dreams one has walked through, smiling
or crying, is not among the things
we are permitted to know.
But I recognize the unconceived songs
of my sisters and brothers in the sound of the rain
that is caught in the highest leaves.
Some invisible hour I lived through meant
I was more than halfway to the end. Not knowing
which one it might be, not knowing what I am,
I thought only that I must be some
indivisible thing. Then, at long last,
in a bed in which I was not allowed
to be anything but a stranger, half of me
woke, felt the sun on the skin of his face,
put two feet on the floor, and resolved
to walk into the day, as if walking
away from an unmapped place toward
an unremembered place, singing
a meaningless song as if singing could be a meaning.