Primero de Enero

The doors of the year open,
like the doors of language,
onto the unknown.
Last night you said:
tomorrow
we must draw signs,
sketch a landscape, hatch a plot
on the unfolded page
of paper and the day.
Tomorrow we must invent,
anew,
the reality of this world.

When I opened my eyes it was late.
For a second of a second
I felt like the Aztec
on the rock-strewn peak,
watching
the cracks of horizons
for the uncertain return of time.

No, the year came back.
It filled the room,
and my glances could almost touch it.
Time, without our help,
had arranged
in the same order as yesterday,
the houses on the empty street,
the snow on the houses,
the silence on the snow.

You were beside me,
still sleeping.
The day had invented you,
but you hadn’t yet accepted
your day’s invention,
nor mine.
You were still in another day.

You were beside me,
and I saw you, like the snow,
asleep among the appearances.
Time, without our help,
invents houses, streets, trees,
sleeping women.

When you open your eyes
we’ll walk, anew,
among the hours and their inventions,
and lingering among the appearances
we’ll testify to time and its conjugations.
We’ll open the doors of this day,
and go into the unknown.
– Octavio Paz

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