It never occurred to me that it is at night when most others fear this thing, this empty space around.
At night I swim alone. Dark water and the sound of arm strokes isolate me, and the beat, the way breathing gets to be like chanting
I swim alone. I pass near their anchored vessels and hear their voices, and see how they move around their decks and cabins
and later on I can hear the way they moan in their sleep, agitated by the motions of the water, a sleep kept light by the sound of wind passing through the riggings
At night, when skin-deep beauty matters nothing, and I am alone at the other side of dreams, in a time with no measurable passage in the world of things left among the distant lights.
At night I swim alone, and in one single heartbeat I cover the distance between what others want and what I in my own image- talk to myself about: the few things I wait for: the for others- sour dawn of fogs that charm my soul with their silvery whispers, and the vast empty spaces left in the heart by exile filled again with your ceaseless beauty.
The native children of chaos share their jaded coins of dissolution, their anecdotes and noisy anger, with the same old fears of the empire.
After surrendering their failed dreams of conquest, willing slaves keep doing their hopeless work in the cities where the daughters of merchants dance with their bankers.
I swim alone, naked as froth and the seaweed dancing in the greenish dark, half asleep among the broken shells that whisper in the surf near your shore, perhaps because in the water I am not that old, and I can forget the years I spent away from you.
Oh, I could tell you
I could remember and name just for you all those fears and regrets, and the names of those who were lost in other seas. I could show you the lists of things they left behind, the mementos and the pages of their journals and log books
But why entertain your night with those stories of despairs and renunciations?
The broken moon is a few strokes ahead. A phosphorescent glow touches my face with the memory of your mesmerizing eyes. I dreamt of you before, and in my dream we were sharing a purple wine and somebody called us from the hills around your house. It was raining. I took your hand and we walked away.
At night, when nobody else could see, I swim alone and wait for the fog to take also my name. I dont know if I want anything else.
Of all the things I could expect from my old years, the least approachable and least expected was this invention of the heart, this way of knowing the emptiness of the night away from the bonfires on the beaches, remembering that you also smiled when we talked about the old lore of those distant brown rivers of my South.
I swim pass an old vessel arrived from a far island. It still smells of rare fruits and lamp oil
Four bells at the midnight of the souls, and your name comes again like the wine and the rain we left behind because we were summoned from those hills around the house where you sleep at this time when I swim alone as dreams.
Read more poems from Carlos Suarez >>>