Speak (for Octavio Paz)

You spoke of a city
brimming with unspoken reality
dusty skulls shimmering in forgetfulness
exposed by the darkness of memory.
You spoke of prayers that forgot their meaning
reminding us that words are only as potent
as the sound in the mouths that say them—
but even sound itself can be silent.

You spoke of time as a subtle thing—
a brave thing, a broken thing—
something we shall never embody
for as long as we live and die
time goes on and forgets us
as each grain of sand forgets the rock it once was
as each rock forgets the touch of mother earth.

You spoke of the beauty of a woman’s breasts
and as you dipped your hands into paradise
you thought only of interior liberation
how the lion cascades over mother earth’s mountains
only to gaze at the desert from its peak.

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