Reeducation / The intruder


No, ma’am, I didn’t do anything wrong
this must be a mistake,
I’m sure there was some misunderstanding
I was the best of all good Samaritans
I faithfully served both gods and humans
I don’t belong in the reeducation ward
please check the registry books
it must be a mistake
I haven’t shed one drop of blood from anyone
all I did was clean wounds, wash the shadows of the floors as I was told to do
I haven’t committed any errors
I’ve guarded the windows against the invasions of migratory birds
I’ve timed the heartbeats of soldiers and dreamers, following superiors’ indications
I’ve done my duty
I haven’t cheated, I haven’t missed one challenge
I’ve climbed all one thousand steps I had to climb
I didn’t even dare yearn after the great illusions
freedom, truth or love
please believe me

everyone says the same, the she-devil snapped at me,
you all act the innocent
I’m sure that at least once you thought that you could break the rules
I’m sure it crossed your mind that you could open the window and let the flock of birds run wild
I’m sure you cheated when counting the stairs
I’m sure you’ve abandoned a shadow on a wall somewhere
or at least thought about it.

The intruder

An animal of an archaic species has turned my body into its den,
You know the type of invisible animal that only appears dressed as a human
At first I thought it was harmless
I even found it nice, since it used to hum in the evenings, before going to bed
exalted songs that resembled German marches
When I went out it would tickle me and make me laugh precisely when I needed to be serious
Or it would push me through the door, compelled by implacable necessities, precisely when a distinguished contemporary man was beginning his speech
But I didn’t mind because I liked the way it sang
After about a year of cohabitation it caught a cold and started to belt out vulgar choruses like a drunken sailor
I thought it would get over it, but each day it would sing even more out of tune and mockingly, I even believed it was doing it on purpose
When I pointed that out and told it to build a lair in another individual
As a protest, it began singing like a deportee in the Siberian wilderness
And it went on like that for a long time
It wouldn’t let me sleep until I took on all its sorrow
I started to pressure it into leaving me
I dragged it to conferences, I closed it up inside libraries, I kept it in front of the TV
Any animal would give in under such circumstances
But that animal that had taken shelter inside me held on, it bore through everything singing romances, which drove me crazy,
Until one day when, exasperated, I gave up and told it
You can do whatever you want with this body, it’s yours, I’m giving it to you
And then, overjoyed for getting rid of me,
It began singing in my very own voice,
A divine music, nothing less than Schubert.



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