June 30th Birthday Love: José Emilio Pacheco

José Emilio Pacheco

Salt

If you want to study its essence, its purpose,
its usefulness in the world,
you’ve got to see it as a whole. Salt
isn’t the individuals who make it up
but the solidary tribe. Without it
each particle would be like a fragment of nothingness,
dissolving in some unthinkable black hole.

Salt surfaces from the sea. It’s petrified
foam.
It’s sea baked by the sun.

And so finally worn-out,
deprived of its great water force,
it dies on the beach to become stone in the sand.

Salt is the desert where there once was sea.
Water and land
reconciled,
matter of no one.

It’s why the world tastes of what it is to be alive.

-José Emilio Pacheco

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