little boys in suit pants and peacoats whose mothers pull them aside on the street to let me past and direct their ramblings directly at the tops of their little brown hair heads. today was full with anger and laughter, one and then the other, like hopscotch or double dutch. angry at uba, my tutor my teachers and myself, and everyone else who did pass the class, all the other estadounidenses except one whom i have been insulting all semester, and perhaps this is why we two did not achieve the goal, why we two must present. angry at myself for my anger, for not allowing the heart open. angry skyping with mom and dad, and the mysterious explosion of grin stretched across my face when i told nieves, i am so so angry, i said. enojado, enojada, qué importa? i said. then a great dinner with nieves and fani, thank goodness, oh goodness, i am grateful. then i showed them Philomela, and the clear and obvious unending face-stretching smile. then the friend whose name perhaps i’ll never learn came over, and we all laughed and laughed and laughed. you have a book! they said. we have to celebrate!
we are all people and i am a person and it is okay to be a person. i tried to demonstrate that i am not so stressed out but rather just preoccupied. rather just occupied by the consideration of language. that there is so much to think about. and so little time. nieves knows nothing of time, by which i mean she knows not how long has lived here nor how long toy has nor how long ago zach was here nor anything as such. does not date her journal entries. and when she asked hace cuando llegué i said nine weeks today. because i know time. i did not explain to her the epoca of when i couldn’t breathe or the epoca of when my tongue was all there was or the epoca of when i was handling language all the time and couldn’t speak. there is so much i haven’t begun to explain.
i have seen two slugs since i got to this country and they were both in my house. maybe they had just mated but then i killed one by mistake. this is a poem to all the dead things. before it was a slug and now it is just wet. i have seen a lot of cockroaches flat on the sidewalk and i have walked through some peoples’ house which is under the autopista near san juan. by house i mean i saw a man taking a shower. by taking a shower i mean he had a plastic water bottle and his head bent over. i have eaten a lot of polluted grapes. today i said hola to the man who works at the iuna café who was near the table smoking a cigarette because he sells me un cortado chico twice a week and that is a lot. he smiled such a nice smile. i wonder if he knows that he’s my friend.