J’ai rapporté du désespoir un panier si petit mon amour, qu’on a pu le tresser en osier.
I brought from despair a basket so small, my love, that it might have been woven of willow.
to speak is not yet to have spoken.
the not-yet of a white realm of nothing left
neither for itself nor another
a no-longer already there, along with the arrival of what has been
light and the reverse of light
terror as walking blind along the breaking sea, body in whom I lived
the not-yet of death darkening what it briefly illuminates
an unknown place as between languages
back and forth, breath to breath as a calm
in the surround rises, fireflies in lindens, an ache of pine
you have yourself within you
yourself, you have her, and there is nothing
that cannot be seen
open then to the coming of what comes
From In the Lateness of the World by Carolyn Forché, published by Penguin Press, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2020 by Carolyn Forché.