Pessoa is Willing

by Erica Ehrenberg

Pessoa is willing to sit at the desk just shy
of the leak from the hole in the ceiling
even though it has been raining for days.
The circumference of the hole admits a high-
pitched light, white and opaque,
so that all shadows in the black lining
of his jacket are eradicated, all folds
now bear no weight
and if he closes his eyes he is the lone
passerby at the banks of a tiny river.
Through its wellspring he would be able to fit
only the top of his head. The bodies formed
in the streams of the water speak to him.
He arranges in the new light the files of the archive
to which he has been for some years now unwaveringly
dedicated. Hands born in the pressure
of the water come to rest on his shoulders
and his face. They are soft
as humidity itself, but reach with the impatience
of women at the water pump or in the fields.

Published on March 31, 2015