Epistemology at Aleida’s Swimming Pool
A world is no less itself when upside down reflected in the pool, as if dangled from its heels like a prisoner already confessing his innocence or his guilt by his journey through condition. A slight breeze ripples the water into rungs the eye climbs across the harped semblance, toward the point where image spills from the real onto the trembling surface and there resounds. Hearing and sight teach each other, mold from wave and shot what we call World. Yet mystery. Precision. The distance we know by reverb and frequency the eye translates into size. So the ear, too, has a vanishing point it borrows, as shadow is courted into depth by aural eyes. All else we touch, smell, and taste in nearness, as if the body staked its right as nest and center where horizons siren their numbers to rest.
In courtyards of sun and night I find my moment's calendar. Centuries, in a bud still, bloom in the timeless mind as light pools in the oyster palm of fountain to settle into motion. Language—contained infinite—turns the rotation of the moon into emblem, its one face spools myriad yet same. A syntax of shadows fills the atrium, the square Roman heart which lined Bath and Córdoba, Byzantium and Havana and speaks form into the form of mind. There rest breaks the bread of words into tone, doubt, and palate. The moon on earth—these walls cratered with flowers. A blank that shines by night is an eloquent slate. Each prayer a column; each column a blessèd tower. Among lions I walk, and beneath the petaled combs I am hovered from rivulet and harem to amber domes. The wanderer's journey is the history of home.
Ricardo Pau-Llosa is a Miami-based poet, art critic, and story writer. His first book of poems, Sorting Metaphors (Anhinga Press, 1983), won the first national Anhinga Prize. His third book of verse, Cuba (Carnegie Mellon), was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1993. His latest collections are Man (2014) and The Turning (2018), both from Carnegie Mellon.