We live in secret cities And we travel unmapped roads. We speak words between us that we recognize But which cannot be looked up. They are our words. They come from very far inside our mouths. You and I, we are the secret citizens of the city Inside us, and inside us There go all the cars we have driven And seen, there are all the people We know and have known, there Are all the places that are But which used to be as well. This is where They went. They did not disappear. We each take a piece Through the eye and through the ear. It's loud inside us, in there, and when we speak In the outside world We have to hope that some of that sound Does not come out, that an arm Not reach out In place of the tongue.
Alberto Ríos - 1952-
Don't Go Into the Library
The library is dangerous— Don’t go in. If you do You know what will happen. It’s like a pet store or a bakery— Every single time you’ll come out of there Holding something in your arms. Those novels with their big eyes. And those no-nonsense, all muscle Greyhounds and Dobermans, All non-fiction and business, Cuddly when they’re young, But then the first page is turned. The doughnut scent of it all, knowledge, The aroma of coffee being made In all those books, something for everyone, The deli offerings of civilization itself. The library is the book of books, Its concrete and wood and glass covers Keeping within them the very big, Very long story of everything. The library is dangerous, full Of answers. If you go inside, You may not come out The same person who went in.