Romance In Twelve Lines
how long before we see each other todayhow long before we see each other soonhow long before we see each other every dayhow long before we see each other foreverhow long before we see each other on alternate dayshow long before we see each other from time to timehow long before we see each other less and lesshow long before we don't want to see each otherhow long before we don't ever want to see each other againhow long before we see each other and pretend we didn't see each otherhow long before we see each other and don't recognize each otherhow long before we see each other and don't remember ever having met. [End Page 31]
The dense halfof the invisible stands out
in the trail of its own urge to show its tongue
Let's say I saw
its right canineis gold and it knows how to wear mid-season blouses
Often its calfmuscle is a steakspeared on a fork
Who would doubt that it's
CasualAnd can bend its knees backwards
The bog bellygrowing from its pawsought to be enough
It's in the cuticles,crumbs, and delays that it resides.
The way things are goingarid, no ice, backwards I won't come home bringing bread
but times might changeand tomorrow I might wake up in the mood to make juice [End Page 32]
I suffer from baritone painsTwo days without opening my mouth my head is a dance hall of ticks.
I don't know where all that stuff is goingbut my nose is capable of filtering out secrets traded by roses in the wind
I'm on holiday, you see I could organizea christening, pretend I love shrimp
If you think about it, noteveryone has cousins, wisdom teeth, a bank account and a single mattress for guests
That's why I'll do what I've always wanted Buy a full crate of grapes and ride a truck on forbidden roads.
Laura takes me to the waterIt's not the only way we're happy But here we're more soIt's good to spend the lower-case Looking at a single thingAs though we had never invented Any image of the future at all And so we stood near a lower-caseLooking towards the sea and pretending The movement of the waves was similar to hanging out sheets And that was us hanging them outYou know, water doesn't stop being water And we didn't stop tryingTo tidy up the sea, which doesn't bother us It's a fish loving another fish Laura likes making the bed Every day, I switch off the fanBecause the bed is a kind of backpack a kind of hill, tray, sole of a foot [End Page 33] For bats; a prism for those who like to sleep, a desk for those who like to wake up I can't explain but it's like arriving at waterAnd knowing how to swim, much more, though, and for everything It's about being able to get to what I really amAnd closer and closer to what I am with happiness It's a straitjacket inside out Really good for diving.
An old fish stuckto the aquarium and close to death
Used to try and talkto me while I would smoke a cigarette
Act, process, effect
Every day beforegoing to sleep as welooked at each other
For years it taught mewhat can't be taught
The wayall lovers do during and up to the end
it repeated the same text and thought itself wise,the fundamental euphemism
Life is learned. [End Page 34]
On the fire escape and its inseparableatmosphere of disaster
A blind man wearing headphonestakes photos and shouts
—We're all in this together!The rave at the end of the world is the longest of all
Your sea urchin eyesare beautiful, the hazy focus, the dilation, the burn
—Every image is an explosion,and what I want is to create memory for others
But what's really fatal is the wayyou move your hands, like you're painting long roads of earth.
Power is dangerAnd today I woke up laughing
Talent is toneAnd today I woke up laughing
Wanting is a creatureAnd today I woke up laughing
On the face the mouth in the sink the dishboth stained with beans. [End Page 35]
Bruna Beber was born in Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, in 1984, and now lives in Sao Paulo. Her first book, A fila sem fim dos demônios descontentes [The endless queue of disgruntled demons], was published in 2006. Her other books include Rua da padaria [Bakery street] (2013) and Ladainha [Litany] (2017).