A tree

by Mariano Peyrou

you can do many things with this tree

paint it with an original colour or sketch it in your mind as if it were a river

cut it down with your nails to change your idea of time

calculate its height and get it wrong without noticing

you can smell it as if you thought without words

hide its roots beneath the earth and paint the greenest of its leaves green

sit where its shade was cast and wait until dawn breaks

define it so that it can be beautiful and artificial at the same time

invent a fire and save it

change it for the right to move over the meadow

turn it into paper and describe it in a different way on each page

walk in circles round any of the neighbouring trees

poke it with a pin to see if it complains

have a long conversation by the light of its birds and discover that it shelters as many contradictions as wings

you can use it as an example in an essay on horizontality

love it compassionately thinking of the powerful winds that brought from the stars the matter it’s made of

touch its roughness with each one of your fingers or your whole palm

what you cannot do is understand it


Translated from Spanish by Nell Leyshon and Mariano Peyrou