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Darkness

Every man would have
as Rilke wished
a personal death:

            so

well deserved, like
love, private,
inner,
contained, a seed, the same
as childhood’s
secret desires.

Every man deserves
to have the idea
of another life
where he might finally
rest.

But there are condemned men

and this sentence
has stripped the satrap
of his chance
to force obedience
to a final command. He gained
not the pardon he would have claimed
in his arrogance
but entry, knowingly,
into darkness.

"La Oscuridad," Originally published in País. Fundación Bigott, Caracas 2007. ©Yolanda Pantin. Translation © 2014 by Katherine Silver. All rights reserved.