main | Vacant room | Dawning | Butcher shop | Simplicity | Farewell | Dulcia Linquimus Arva | Last sun in Villa Ortúzar | Mythical founding of Buenos Aires | Deathwatch on the Southside | Buenos Aires Deaths | Chess | Quatrain | Cyclical Night | A thirteenth-century poet | Susana Soca | Camden, 1892 | A Northside knife | Milonga of Albornoz | New England, 1967 | The labyrinth | Invocation to Joyce | Tankas | Susana Bombal | Things | Menaced | You | Poem of quantity | The sentinel | To the German language | 1891 | Hengist asks for men, A.D. 449 | Browning poet resolves to be | Suicide | I am | Fifteen coins | Blind man | 1972 | Elegy | The exile (1977) | In memory of Angelica | My books | Talismans | The white deer | The profound rose | Mexico | Herman Melville | To Johannes Brahms | Baruch Spinoza | Alhambra | Music box | Adam is your ashes | On acquiring an encyclopedia | Nostalgia for the present | The accomplice | Shinto | The cipher | My last tiger | The cypress leaves | The weft


Deep universal night
uncontradicted by wan streetlights
a stray gust
offends the taciturn streets
like a trembling presentiment
of horrible dawn rounding
like unto a lie
the dismantled outskirts of the world.
Beholding the well-rested tenebrosity
and cowed by threat of dawn
I thought of that tremendous conjecture
by Schopenhauer and Berkeley
which proclaims the world
an activity of mind,
a soul-dream,
without foundation or purpose or volume.
Now since ideas
are not marble eternal
but immortal as forest or river,
that speculation of another day
assumed another form at dawn
and the superstition of the hour
when light like a creeping vine
begins to implicate walls of darkness,
swayed my reason
and traced the following caprice:
If things are void of substance
and this numerous Buenos Aires
in complication like an army,
is nothing more than a dream
its souls achieve with conjoined magic,
there is an instant
in which out of temper its being is in danger
the shuddering instant of dawn,
when few are they who dream the world
and just a few night owls keep
ashy and sketched
the vision of the streets
awaiting consultation and definition.
Hour when life's pertinacious dream
risks breakdown,
and it would be easy for God
to kill the whole of his work!

But once again the world is saved.
Light roams inventing dirty colors
and with some remorse
for my complicity in the quotidian resurrection
I seek my home,
astonied and glacial in the white light,
while a bird detains the silence
and the spent night
remains in the eyes of the blind.