Memory • Mar Lima

I remember you, old me
hating broccoli and changes,
bearing unfinished poems,
fearing words and strangers.

I remember you, old me
knowing nothing about the world
and still not knowing
its beginnings, means and ends.

I remember you used to pretend
that happiness was possible with emptiness.
You knew life’s complexity was insistent
but you realised it could be simpler.

You keep saying how you’ve changed
since you’ve met the Liffey
but you can’t explain
how was the feeling of crossing the ocean.
You only remember feeling part of it.

Frozen by the cold cutting your face,
your heart pulsed in the river.
in the embrace of its waters:
you rose like Spring.

Your body was touched by its seasons
and you are now a foreign seed
growing in its soil as a willow.

You are a mix of garlic and onion rice with burning wood.
A mix of extraversion and silence.
A magic of a tropical fruit.
Saudade and its meaning.

We found each other
as if we were playing with eternity:
you, Ireland and me.

On the other side of you was part of me.
I am now complete:
mountain, love and poetry.

Mar Lima is from São Paulo and lives in Dublin since 2014. Published her first poems in the compilation “Thirty Two Pounds [An Anthology Brazil-Ireland]” by Urutau and the book “sou mar”. She studied journalism, is co-founder and curator of Diaspora magazine. For more of her works:

Cover image by Mar Lima.

[This poem was published in our first issue • “Connections Brazil & Ireland” • in Dec 2020]