João Luís Barreto Guimarães - THE POSSIBILITY OF LOVE

cold morning draws the lovers
near the sea on the far north side of the island where
a cold wind blows and a cold waterfall leaps in
an arc off
the cliff which the islanders named
Bridal Veil. On this side of Porto Moniz (in
long agave leaves) every language has left alive
the possibility of love:
Hubert aime Christine
a Olga le gusta Mauri
only solitary Simon and Susan the dreamer
inscribed on different leaves (albeit
from the same cactus) by bad luck
or good misfortune
did not coincide on that day.
All of them were once here. All of them conceded
the possibility of love –
even if
the water that falls today is not tomorrow’s water
(let alone next year’s) when
these names fall and others rise up
in their place still
without bitterness. May the passion here written
turn into love by then.

Translated by Calvin Olsen