El Sur

I'll never forget the face my father made
sitting there inside the Cafe Oriental
when he lifted his eyes from the page
and saw me on the other side of the windowpane.
Now I understand it was a natural reaction
as though I'd caught him somehow remiss
but at that time I didn't realize it.
I only knew that it seemed to me
he'd been writing a letter.

Julia, Julia! Listen to me!
Shh! You'll wake her up!
Please, just listen to me a moment
How many times do I have to tell you,
I don't want to hear about it!

If you want to go talk to her, just do it!
Do whatever you want,
just don't tell me about it!

None of it!
That's not it, that's not it.
You're wrong, Julia.
The idea I had had about my father
started to change then

like opening my eyes
and suddenly discovering

that I knew nothing about him.