A Web Del Sol Chapbook Selection
William Slaughter


Three Blind Men


Someone, an angel perhaps
or an unknown friend,
has written on a wall
near my hotel, Del Angel,
in Mexico City:

Cada idioma es un modo
de sentir el mundo,

a message left for me
in a foreign country.

But Spanish
is Borges’ language,
not mine. Borges,

1899 until...
who is no more alive
in Buenos Aires,
and blind, fighting
private wars
behind his eyes.

Originally, the words
belonged to him.


In San Miguel, Mauricio,
who lost or gave
his eyes to diabetes
or Christian Science,
is feeling

his way
down Calle del Reloj
(Street of the Watch)
with his blind man’s cane

toward the jardin,
where he sits all day
and reads with his fingers
enormous books in Braille,
forgetting the stories
he told himself...

how he got there,
sold the haberdashery
in Queens to his sons,
emigrated, and added
i-o to his name.

The darkness
does not fail him.


Borges and Mauricio,
writer and reader.
Two blind men.

I love them both
for what I cannot see.
They remind me
of my own blindnesses,
assaults and hesitations.

Every language
is a way of feeling
the world.
And knowing
ourselves in it,

beyond appeal
and without apology.

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