The Man In Love
Mirrors, ivory trinkets, tools of steel,
roses, lamps, Albrecht Dürer’s lines,
the shifting zero, the other nine
digits: I should pretend all these are real.
I should pretend that in some distant day,
Rome and Persepolis held real powers
and a fine sand marks the fate of towers
that the iron centuries wore away.
I should pretend the guns and pyres raised high
upon those epic and significant seas
gnawed down the pillars of the earth by degrees.
I should pretend there are others. But that’s a lie.
Only you exist. Only you, my misfortune, are sure,
you, my happiness, unending and pure.
Jorge Luis Borges
Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2015