A poem

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

A lanky figure, our boy.

Arms twisting about like Carob pods

hair brushed down like a willow in the rain, no weeping.

Grin baring teeth that could chuck wood,

defiantly like only a woodchuck would.

Left pocket full of gum, right full of dreams,

heir of a wondering spirit wishes upon the mighty sea

for perilous journeys and outings around,

over and under acrid marshes, moldy groves.

A house, a yard, a realm hidden inside,

flower by flower, meandering bee.

Knees on cobblestones, feet on grass, hands climbing up trees,

our hero steps and leaps and glides.

Our scrawny boy, meager kite in the sky of his making.

How to lose your hair without losing your head.

These days I see it on shopfronts, laptop monitors, elevators, high-end refrigerators with glossy finishing, my phone’s screen when I go too long without tapping, those sunglasses that look like welding helmets and come attached to chiseled faces with dense manes, and almost any surface that allows for reflection. It doesn’t matter how well-defined features are displayed in any of these surfaces, for the one that ails me is not one I have but one I lack; like all that is once taken as a given and for granted, it’s in their absence that we see them in overcompensating clarity…

When I was twelve, my parents gave me my first real surfboard, which, come to think of it, was actually Santa Claus’ present. Before that, I had been “surfing” on one of the boogie boards that were stacked in the storage room behind our house and were shared among all cousins. Naturally, this was the best day of my life, I finally had the tools necessary to become one of those surfers I idolized in magazines I browsed over and over again until the pages turned to onionskin and the pictures so translucent it looked as if all of them…

La imagen la conocemos. Una mañana de otoño, el asfalto frío, cientos de miles de personas a lo largo de una gran avenida corean al son de dos cuerpos que avanzan como gacelas sobre las mismas calles que han recorrido durante poco más de dos horas. Una gota de sudor resbala por la frente de uno de los corredores, el otro percibe ese ínfimo gesto de fatiga y acrecienta la marcha. …

Francisco Ceballos

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