I met a salt cedar
by the sea
It was a cheerful stately green
I sat with it and shared my troubles many times
caressing its rough, wise trunk
To its rustling branches I would trust
all the things I couldn’t tell
Before my return to the city we embraced, bid farewell
Till next summer, we said
The next summer I came to the sea
there was an emptiness
At first I didn’t realise what was missing
Then I saw my salt cedar
split down the middle
obscuring the sea view no longer
The salt cedar didn’t want me to see it, to let me touch
the spots bared of branches
Its hollowed trunk filled with leaves
and its beautiful upper boughs now disconsolate
yellow limbs
So much did they love the sea they sacrificed its only tree
In the quest to possess something, everything else becomes pure obstacle
If your strategy means standing in the wrong position
you’ll be made to pay the price
How could the salt cedar know all this
What a strange and painful word is love
I’m standing where the sea begins
The sand is wet and thick
It takes the shape of my sole where I step
But at this zero point of the sea
No trace is permanent
It will erase me with one coquettish flick
I come from a city where
people leave horseshoe welts on other people’s faces
At our fingertips we all have ice
packs and cell renewal creams
Nights go by caressing those scars
Days spent hiding them
We call a mass lie the new truth
Hypocrisy is going legitimate
There is always a sense of loss, always a sense
of being diminished. As though something of yours
were stolen, but you had no idea
The longer it went unnamed the more you lost a part of yourself
A vast love story dwindled down to matryoshka dolls
Since when is the ‘You’re like everyone else now’ mould
enough for the ones you love
What’s left is always the same old loss of altitude