Magazine article World Literature Today

For a Candle's Flame

Magazine article World Literature Today

For a Candle's Flame

Article excerpt

A tribute to Luis Fernández

The shadowed room is not a firmament

in which objects glow like the sky

of August glows outside, illuminated.

It is another firmament. The naked objects

throb, alive, the paper on the nightstand,

the glass, the pencil,

the beloved lead, the humble wood,

the faithful, precise stroke, still sharp

on the page. Outside, it rains. In the distance,

the lightning strikes, brief sign, one flame

embracing another. Radiance,

which barely illuminates and seems

to make the darkness even darker,

leaps in silence from the candle.

Single, visible flame that yet summons

the invisible, tongue of humble

silence, defeated, solitary, light

of darkness, of unknowing.

This lightning will return to the source,

or to its nothingness, to its beating cloud,

to the primal subject of its subject.

In the room, in silence, only one flame

occupies the mind, it is the sole truth

on the table, one's entire

dispossession. …

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