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This poem is taken from PN Review 192, Volume 36 Number 4, March - April 2010.

Four Versions of Borges Alex Wylie

Jorge Luis Borges: 1899-1986: ‘Dar y recibir son lo mismo.’

I ‘Yo’

The skull unseen, the heart invisible,
the motorways and byways of the blood
I cannot fix, inconstant as the god
Proteus, all nerves, guts, bones; as physical


as change itself, I am these things. And yet -
I am, too, the memory of a scimitar
slicing down the sun, and a blood-red sunset
turning grey, and darkening, and a single cellular star.

Lookout on the world’s shore, I see the ships
endlessly replanked. I am the numbered books
and letters thin with time, the dry codex,
words mouthed indecently by long-dead lips.

Even stranger are these words I write
in a room somewhere, full of dust and light.


II ‘Alexander Selkirk’
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