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AN ACCIDENTAL PORTRAIT

Updated: Feb 2, 2019

'My whole life has been pledged to this meeting with you...' Aleksandr Sergueyevich Pushkin

YOU, who evades all forms of portraiture.

Your soul does not allow it,

Because you do not wish to be permanent in another.


If someone loves you,

You think that they have stolen a part of you,

It makes you angry,

But it was really only a silly idea quite gruesome.


We all want ourselves to ourself,

Perhaps.

But love is not like this.

We are mere sand mandalas.

Loving someone truly means giving the person back to themself,

Again and again.

In a process that never ends.


*


This photograph I found today quite without looking for it.

And there you were,

A ghostly angel.

I blur it, change its colour, alter the contrast so that you cannot be ‘recognised’.

In doing so I only make it more like you.


The land was green,

How could it be black?

The dreamy green of your Antioquia.

You place your hand on it with a peculiar mixture of grace and reverent strength

It is an Antioquian man’s hand but it betrays unusual softness.

(There’s something else going on and it’s the memory of another time...

But better that no one knows who you really are.

Keep it a secret.

Your secret.

Keep it as yours and the soil’s.)


*


And there, your English jacket fades away from you,

From the land where Englishness doesn’t belong.

You disappear into this land

So that the two of you are indistinguishable.


I am only there for this brief moment capturing our prayer that looks like something else.

We lie about the Christmas decorations,

Tears cried and not cried.

A Colombian flag will go here on those public holidays that the residents don’t fully understand.

They are clever

Brilliant, even.

But they never had the education they deserved.

Those bastards!

How I hate them for what they took away from you,

From them.


“Listen, people!” You shout from the balcony above the plaza of Sonsón.

“Wake up!

This is your country and people are stealing it from you!”

They listen but they are already too drunk on familiarity with subservience to rise up.

“The revolution won’t be here. Not today”.

You laugh because we are so sad.

It’s the Colombian way, isn’t it?

To pretend something doesn’t exist anymore when it hurts too much.


Killing with knifes,

Killing with denial.

Killing with knifes,

Killing with denial.


I too will be part of this land one day.

My dead particles becoming the mud inside the hoof of the mule

So that I shudder with the beauty of The Truth.

No negative hallucinations for me,

I keep my tokens even once they have decayed.

Memories fade but they appear ever the more clear enframed by hearts now becoming dust.