[illustration for E.A. Poe by Alberto Martini, via]
I never could get used to this voice from a statue or a parrot, a voice that came out of the dreams, not from a throat.
~ Julio Cortázar, “House Taken Over”
If you could get out of here, where would you go?
Have you noticed how like wings human lungs are?
I’d take mine out, stretch them on wood rails,
And maybe then I’d be able to fly, to unfold
My arms and soar, over the sunken cities, their bones
Smooth and fleshless, cleansed by the waves,
Purified of life. I’d head up north, where dreams
Grow from hunger and misty-eyed men spin stories
Round their boats in whirlpools, where women
Carve children from seal flesh and cast them in ice.
Or maybe I’d go down south, where they build
Houses from scented smoke and where sailors
Exchange feather hats for fish grown fat on sorcery.
Or maybe I’d let the capricious wind take me to his cave
And make me his bride: wild, glorious, invisible.
I would flap my wings and these dungeons would collapse,
These walls would tumble, these locks would rust.
And where would you go? Where would you go then?