Untitled Poetry


Untitled I

By Jose


Forgive me,
Gentle paramour,
For showing you how
Soft lead remains yet lead
And how iron at a distance
Appears liable to indention,
Welcoming a hand to an altogether
Unpliable surface.

My deceit made so similar
By unwilling nature of the thing,
I hope you are merciful enough to realize
No hard thing means to feel soft
At distance


Untitled II

By Jose

So many nights

I’d branded myself Mycenaean

And wondered in silence

Whether Helen might visit my dreams If I walked down Allenby Street

And continued into the sea.

I swore I’d stay there,

Devoting my days on Elba

To studying the taxonomy of stones And other enlightened arts

Of great men who never bathed

Until with labored certainty I’d say: This is grey.

And so much toil would make me a rational man.

And rational men do not weep at her memory.

And rational men find beauty in numbers and stones.

But if a letter from Josephine Spoke of her living –

By some miracle returned to Paris, I’d be a rational man,

Abandon the stones,

Forgive myself.


Jose Espinel (espinel@college.harvard.edu)