Even As We Think And Feel

Who would I be now if I’d received the
affection that comes from the womb and is placed
through kisses,

on a baby’s face? Perhaps my regret for having never
been a son plays a large role in my emotional indifference.

But while the sloppy criticism of our
fathers bequeathed us the impossibility of being Christians

it didn’t bequeath us an acceptance of the impossibility;
while it bequeathed us a disbelief in established moral codes

it didn’t bequeath us an indifference to morality and the rules for
peaceful human coexistence; while it left the thorny problem of politics in doubt
it didn’t leave our minds unconcerned about how to solve it.

I don’t know who I am or what I am.

We are content thanks to our capacity,
even as we think and feel,
for not believing in the soul’s existence.

To act,
requires a certain incapacity for imagining the personalities of others,
their joys and sufferings.

The absurd lie has all the charm of the perverse with the even greater,
ultimate charm of being innocent.

Even those who delve only in themselves,
disdaining what surrounds them,
delve by different paths when it rains and when it’s clear.

Those who die turned a corner,

which is why we’ve stopped seeing them;
those who suffer pass before us like a nightmare
if we feel,
or like an unpleasant daydream,
if we think.

And through the nearby trees we could see,
in the distance,
blackish clusters of grapes hanging in the silence of trellised vines.

Say goodbye to the childish error of asking words and things what they mean.

—Bernardo Soares, Educação do Stoica