by Paul Auster

Not even the sky.
But a memory of sky,
and the blue of the earth
in your lungs.

less earth: to watch
how the sky will enclose you, grow vast
with the words
you leave unsaid – and nothing
will be lost.

I am your distress, the seam
in the wall
that opens to the wind
and its stammering, storm
in the plural – this other name
you give your world: exile
in the rooms of home.

Dawn folds, fathers
the aspen and the ash
that fall. I come back to you
through this fire, a remnant
of the season to come,
and will be to you
as dust, as air,
as nothing
that will not haunt you.
In the place before breath
we feel our shadows cross.

By Jacques Rousseau

Jacques Rousseau teaches critical thinking and ethics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is the founder and director of the Free Society Institute, a non-profit organisation promoting secular humanism and scientific reasoning.