By JAVIER MEDINA BERNAL 21 I think that there were books in my room and that I enjoyed reading them until late, until the early hours, to fall asleep with the book of the day on my chest, that is, in the pool of my chest. I used to read many romantic novels, I believe some short stories. I hated poetry. I did not understand poetry. I still don’t. I met a woman who liked it when I read her poems before and after the kisses and the caresses. 25 Thousands of languages die. Save for the language of your eyes, neither the voice of your sweat nor the red tremor in your legs nor your body in the mirror. 27 Now I want to be a tree. I am tree. I want to tell my story though it be false. I grew with the trees and learnt the language of branches and leaves. In fall, one can bid them farewell before their sacrifice, their casting themselves to the nothingness of the earth. And I became a tree. I met the withered word, the stone word, the old word. New shadows I offered men. I met the lumberjack’s cry. And down I went. 28 70 That woman who liked the poems was here once (that’s what the rain says). I pushed her body against the wall, the rain says. I watched the form of her breasts under her gypsy’s dress. The woman smelt of smoke and of earth. I though then: Death. I also thought: she’s come here to be sacrificed, this room is a swamp and she has come to sink, to be devoured by mosquitoes and leeches. She thought she would find relief. And she found it. She had mud in her hands, on her feet, between her fingers, mud in her mouth and in her womb. Mud. while she dressed, I thought: It’ll be her job to bathe her body in other bodies, she’ll lose her hair and her breasts will fall.