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CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AT SANT JUST

I
Shivering bulbs light up
just like someone’s tears.
I gaze out at our courtyard under the lilac-
coloured sky of evening where, against
the light, the laurel leaves are drawn
in a sharp, black print. Your mother tells me:
You and I, now and then, we lose everything.
The Christmas lights are shivering in the streets:
Suddenly, for you, they’ve all gone out.

II
Today all the colours inside fairy-tales,
like the greens of reeds beside the river
and the clouds reflected in the old washing-trough,
are shining in Joana’s eyes.
It starts to rain and, over there, across
the yard, it’s Christmas of the year before,
with figures moving. I see Joana laugh,
but all at once she turns her head towards me,
stares, and then I know that it’s a memory,
because the rain is falling through her.

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