Answers To Letters
In the bottom drawer of my desk I found a letter that first arrived twenty-
six years ago. A letter in panic, and it's still breathing when it arrives the
A house has five windows: through four of them the day shines clear
and still. The fifth faces a black sky, thunder and storm. I stand at the fifth
window. The letter.
Sometimes an abyss opens between Tuesday and Wednesday
but twenty-six years could pass in a moment. Time is not a straight line, it's
more of a labyrinth, and if you press close to the wall at the right place you
can hear the hurrying steps and the voices, you can hear yourself walking
past on the other side.
Was the letter ever answered? I don't remember, it was long ago. The
countless thresholds of the sea kept migrating. The heart kept leaping
from second to second like a toad in the wet grass of an August night.
The unanswered letters pile up, like cirrostratus clouds promising bad
weather. They can make the sunbeams lusterless. One day I will answer. One
day when I am dead and can at last concentrate. Or at least so far away
from here that I can find myself again. When I'm walking, newly arrived,
in the big city, on 125th Street, in the wind on the street of dancing
garbage. I who love to stray off and vanish in the crowd, a capital T in the
endless mass of the text.
- Tomas Tranströmer