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Afterwards, she breathed a little, and then I thought that behind her eyes
there had always been curious lakes made of silences and ducks.
That part about the ducks —it’s so trite— I don’t know where in the hell that came from,
but it seemed funny to me, imagining them being so congenial and clean
as they were going from the water to the sky, from the sky to the water, again,
and vice-versa, strange, very sweet children.
The breath finished, she remembered her coffee and looked at it without a sound.
“Yes, we should have been unfaithful maybe.
You could have —I don’t know— varied more, had more fun.
I would have learned what wasn’t important to me,
and maybe everything would have been different”, she said again.
This reminded me of a sad song on the radio
that was played a lot some two years ago.
With respect to the tears, I faked it better
not knowing they existed. (I never carry a handkerchief,
and according to the movies, this is what one is supposed to offer.)
Afterwards, everything ended quickly; it made me suddenly late,
and I devoted myself to performing the role from another scene right away.
“Endings are never certain. They never end,” she had said.
As that seemed certain to me, I felt afraid or I felt cold.
I devoted myself —as I said— to plotting another scene
that didn’t smell so much of Sunday.
I should have told about false joys, absurd
and imprecise hopes, I don’t really know, whatever lie.
“Endings are never certain. They never end.”
And I should have talked about books or ancient rains
in between jokes of lovers or children. Because endings are never certain,
they never end, but I didn’t know yet how to say
that I didn’t remember who loved me.


Santiago Montobbio
Translation by Alexandra van de Kamp and William Glenn

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