A Desire

 

By Beatriz Herrera

If a tree falls to the ground 

and there is no one to see it

–no one to listen 

did it really fall?

 

The pulse behind

my scribbling is alive,

the text falls

word by word  

shaping the archive

of my desire;

as leaves find their way to the ground, 

signs find a place to rest

in the memory of a naked pulse.

 

Once more

the infinite sound of leaves

awakes my hand moving through the empty page

signs fall in the text

as blood fills my brain. 

 

If I draw a smile

–and there is no one to see it 

did I ever smile?

 

Would you ever count

how many leaves fall 

from a tree? But you would

keep a record of my heartbeat

of my emotions as numbers,

as bytes,

that rise and fall-

is it not enough to experience

the contraction of the muscles

and the desire for a smile?

 

Would you ever come

as flesh, as sweat,

beside me, 

like the tree patiently staring 

at other trees

grounded in presence?

 

Would you come to share 

the air

traveling from my lungs

to the tree, to your lungs

the echo of time

and place connecting

our presence

through air.

 

Yet air will not fulfill my desire

as colours, lights,

sounds, as smiles do.

 

I don’t demand your attention

but the possibility 

of reacting, of transforming

air

beyond a breathable substance

into an expanding force

surrounding my body,

your body,

trapped in the landscape of shining screens. 

 

The screen makes me feel

almost an authentic desire, 

am I an artifact? Is my essence

artificial?

I know vulnerability 

to light, to sounds

to any single byte

that resembles a desire

yet the constellation of pixels

may not be an innocent hologram

–I might even fall in love with–

but another attempt 

to capture my life

in numbers, feeding

the dark machinery

of extractivism.

 

Yet I will not stop 

the pervasive will of transforming

signs around me

exhaling air into sound

and the power to hear it

to smile at it;

a desire to be seen

and felt

a pause in the eternal solipsism.

 

 

Special thanks to Subhashini Goda

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