I met a salt cedar

by the sea

It was a cheerful stately green

I sat with it and shared my troubles many times

caressing its rough, wise trunk

To its rustling branches I would trust

all the things I couldn’t tell

Before my return to the city we embraced, bid farewell

Till next summer, we said


The next summer I came to the sea

there was an emptiness

At first I didn’t realise what was missing

Then I saw my salt cedar

split down the middle

obscuring the sea view no longer


The salt cedar didn’t want me to see it, to let me touch

the spots bared of branches

Its hollowed trunk filled with leaves

and its beautiful upper boughs now disconsolate

yellow limbs


So much did they love the sea they sacrificed its only tree

In the quest to possess something, everything else becomes pure obstacle

If your strategy means standing in the wrong position

you’ll be made to pay the price

How could the salt cedar know all this


What a strange and painful word is love


I’m standing where the sea begins

The sand is wet and thick

It takes the shape of my sole where I step

But at this zero point of the sea

No trace is permanent

It will erase me with one coquettish flick


I come from a city where

people leave horseshoe welts on other people’s faces

At our fingertips we all have ice

packs and cell renewal creams

Nights go by caressing those scars

Days spent hiding them

We call a mass lie the new truth

Hypocrisy is going legitimate


There is always a sense of loss, always a sense

of being diminished. As though something of yours

were stolen, but you had no idea

The longer it went unnamed the more you lost a part of yourself

A vast love story dwindled down to matryoshka dolls

Since when is the ‘You’re like everyone else now’ mould

enough for the ones you love

What’s left is always the same old loss of altitude

Share this poem