Prayer by David Huerta
The self in David Huerta's poems is hard to grasp. Equally, his dealings with the outside world, and other people, are fleeting. His love poetry captures the poignancy of moments that anchor our existence only briefly. In ‘Prayer', he calls for the preservation of a moment ‘here now among us':
it casts its yellow light and swells
like the sun or like flaming lemons
- and tastes of the sea, of loved hands
and smells like a street in Paris
where we were happy.
This elaborate figurative sequence carries the reader on a journey which engages the senses (sight, taste and smell) and startling shifts of imaginative scale (sun to lemons to sea to street). Yet its very expansiveness suggests that the experience has never quite been captured. Indeed, the present moment gives way to ‘a street in Paris', a memory of the past, and a recognition of what is lost as well as preserved.