Tuesday Poem


We all live in darkness, kept apart from each other
by walls easily crossed but full of fake doors;
money drawn for light spending on friends or love
our arguments
about the inexhaustible don't even graze it
just when it's time to start talking again, and take
a different road to get to the same place.
We have to get used to knowing how
to live from day to day, each one on his own
as in the best of all possible worlds.
Our dreams prove it: we're cut off.
We can feel for each other,
and thats more than enough: that's all, and it's hard
to bring our stories closer together
trimming off from the excess we are,
to get our minds off the impossible and on the things
we have in common,
and not to insist, not to insist too much:
to be a good storyteller who plays his role
between clown and preacher.

by Enrique Lihn
from The Dark Room and Other Poems
New Directions Books 1978
translation: Jonathan Cohen, John Felstiner and David Unger