Wednesday, February 1, 2017


To Be Read in the Interrogative

Have you seen

have you truly seen

the snow that stars the felt steps of the breeze

Have you touched

really have you touched

the plate the bread the face of that woman you love so much

Have you lived

like a blow to the head

the flash the gasp the fall the flight

Have you known

known in every pore of your skin

how your eyes your hands your sex your soft heart

must be thrown away

must be wept away

must be invented all over again

Happy New Year

Look, I don't ask much,

just your hand, to hold it

like a little toad who'd sleep there happily.

I need that door you give me

for coming into your world, that little chunk

of green sugar, of a lucky ring.

Can't you just spare me your hand tonight

at the end of a year of hoarse-voiced owls?

You can't, for technical reasons. So

I weave it in the air, warping each finger,

the silky peach of the palm

and the back, that country of blue trees.

That's how I take it and hold it, as

if so much of the world

depended on it,

the succession of the four seasons,

the crowing of the roosters, the love of human beings.



Julio Cortazar
Selected poems
translated by Stephen Kessler
CITY LIGHTS Pocket Poet Series