How little we know of the swan; its neck,
its lack of sense of humor,
how elegantly it crosses a lake.
Writers speak of it as if it belonged to them,
of its feathers as if they were salvation.
And then there’s its love for Leda,
which gives shades at every threshold,
hope at the thresholds we do not know.
We often speak of the sea,
but we only grapple with its outward appearance:
or an arm that waves from the water.
The sea is merely a reflection extending to sadness,
a tale of renown
giving us nostalgia for alternative lives
that we’ll not live—or live, perhaps,
with a glimmer of eternity.
The sea is a sham,
an arbitrary decision.
Perhaps that’s why it keeps on occurring.
Travel is just a way of sitting down at a table,
a timely word
which to its regret decides a foreseeable change.
But a travel book is an invasion:
the separating eye,
the pointlessness of the particular,
an opinion on the subject of time,
a sham of prestigious vomit.
All this too much for an ephemeral project.
So I tear up my notes,
deactivate the explosion,
and leave everything in place
while I continue my journey
satisfied to have left the world untouched,
a place no foot had ever trod.