Allan Popa’s poems are sublime examples of quiet that is every bit as piercing as a shout. Through visions of a body struggling to recognize the world, we are reminded through these subtle, yet vivid lines of what is kept, what is gone, and what is passed on. Wounds, light, reflection—all these things we see with our hands.
Once again, I traced the path of a boat that healed the water. I whispered a courtesy and was permitted to pass the same old route. You haven’t gone far, said the stone that first wounded my knee. Yet I had believed it and let the hurrying damselflies through the window. On the roof, the leaves of the coconut are still sweeping their own shadow. The old neighbors are still trying to recognize themselves in the foggy mirror while my own face does not even recognize itself. Ay, if only my hands could be used for cover! How many times have I been let down? How many times have I tried cupping the water with my palms without my sense leaking out? I have nothing to reach you save my hands.