Poem Beginning With A Line By Roberto Juarroz


There are clothes that last longer than love
stored in a trunk, the dress he divorced
me in was white too but embroidered
in the bright colours of Easter
eggs. It was spring then,
I was younger, there’s a photo
where I’m wearing this dress and smiling
the way we do for the camera and occasions.
Without sincerity. My skin
was better, was different, well you see
the light used to linger in it and that
created an aura of beauty you will miss
with ordinary looking. But my allure
was tenuous, friable, its texture
more pollen than petal
of the corolla, its blossom
dead, desiccated in the vase
by which he paused, his fingers not
touching, debriefing the rose
is such a common flower, more cliché
than symbol for love and the brevity
of pleasure. Now the child is more than
half-grown. The miracle, the dress eludes
moths through disuse, escaped from
disease if not estrangement. I do
not understand how anyone could remember
such insignificant details, a Mexican wedding
dress, an overblown posy, not
its scent, its story, it’s still sorry
for a thousand and one untold nights.

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