I should have said something!
If only I had dared!
To meet your eyes and tear the veil!
So I could hold my head, so high, so high!
And walk with you till the end of time!
I did not dare
I was trapped,
By the inability to lie to myself
You possessed me with those red battered heels of despair
I saw you cry till you would convince yourself again
That the storm was only a fairy-tale
No pup had drowned,
No vagrant was lost,
And he loved you till the very end.
For five years I sat through your pain,
I had memorized the spots where you put more make-up on
And I knew what nights he marked you for himself.
At lunch we would exchange a few words for the dead,
The dead days that haunt us,
the dead days that bind us
Like old vessels forgotten at port.
Oh how you smiled through the unborn waves!
But no smile can break the petrified desires
Of that unborn child,
That loves you from it’s grave
I tried; I swear I tried to lend you my hands,
And have my fingers heal your fetal scars
Life is a paradox
As we live we die,
Death is no prankster and Life is no child.
But I never raised my hand to reach out across the void,
That separates your desk from mine in this stagnant charade,
And as the clients went and came,
We drowned ourselves
In a sea of numbers and complaints.
Why was I the jester of my own masquerade?
And when the day would end,
When the day would finally give way,
To the fearful night,
You would evaporate before I could say
“Can I walk you home, can I walk you home, my grace?”
Surrounded by my static nature,
Wrapped in moonlight
Afraid the shadows might speak
I thought how much love he still had to give.
I wanted to buy you a present, a Christmas present
Enough make-up to cover his kisses
Enough make-up to paint a new face.
One day, one gray Thursday to be precise,
In your place sat Despair,
You had not being sneezing; you had not been coughing,
There was only the emptiness that announces the end.
I stared into the infinite blankness,
That had become my life,
Tiles of numbers sugar-coated in apathy,
With a man’s voice calling me from the past.
But I was never a warrior,
I never fought for the opportunity to love,
I was a coward,
Who wore your scars as tokens of trust.
And raided the caverns of tomorrow
To find that all the treasures were gone.
I prepared cups of coffee,
I cleaned my house,
I perfumed my bed,
I dressed in trousers, and combed my hair,
To find myself sitting in silence at the edge of my bed,
I listened to the darkness before the curtain fell.
But you were somewhere else,
Being loved to death,
Pounded by kisses,
Strangled by hugs,
Tied to your bed,
With your make-up still fresh.
Ricardo Otero Córdoba (2012)