A Wave

of the past as I walk
by a window boarded-up

in winter and in

summer hot where
spiders lived and dust

filmed everything
in that storefront

that was his home. Or
a madcap air in May

or a combination
of words can bring

a voice to the surface
—it’s that I … at the

thought of him
which, more today

than yesterday,
is like approaching

a grave. His calls
before my first visit

flickered weekly,
are ash now. Cities

changed their names:
Madrid became

Corning became Davis,
South Bend,

D.C. I know
the beginnings

and the ends
of things. I

curb myself,
swallow what

cannot change.
But still, it is

there (he who
was torn

away no

needs). But isn’t
it time this grew

fruitful, time
I loose myself

and, though unsteady,
move on—the way

the arrow, suddenly
all vector

survives the string?

           with Akhmatova and Rilke
           for my father

From After Rubén (Red Hen Press, 2020) by Francisco Aragón. Copyright © 2020 by Francisco Aragón. Used with permission of The Permissions Company LLC on behalf of Red Hen Press, redhen.org.