So Initiated Into Its Secrets

I suffered the truth on seeing myself there,
since my face was of course the first one I looked for.

Remnants of better times,
spent on I don’t know what garden paths.

The weariness of being the object of other people’s burdensome emotions.

They were both right.

I spent my soul living all of that as though it were real.

Women who spread love are freed of the triumphs they cherish.

I trace them in a stupor of feeling whatever I feel,
like a cat in the sun,
and I sometimes reread them with a vague,
belated astonishment,
as when I remember something I forgot ages ago.

We shouldn’t read newspapers,
for example,

or should read them only to find
out what anecdotal and unimportant things are happening.

That is why I never feel so close to truth,
so initiated into its secrets,

as on the rare occasions when I go to the theatre
or the circus: then I know that I’m finally watching life’s perfect representation.

Seen from the other direction,
the square is different,

but the same peace gilds with sudden nostalgia—the setting
sun—the view I didn’t see when I walked up the street.

Whatever lives,
lives because it changes; it changes because it passes; and,
because it passes,
it dies.

—Sebastian Knight, Natal Mercury

via Marcus Petit