[This post was originally written by site member Hu on January 27, 2008]
Jorge Luis Borges, 1968
The garden’s grillwork gate
opens with the ease of a page
in a much thumbed book,
and, once inside, our eyes
have no need to dwell on objects already fixed and exact in memory.
here habits and minds and the private language
all families invent
are everyday things to me.
What necessity is there to speak
or pretend to be someone else?
The whole house knows me,
they’re aware of my worries and weakness.
This is the best that can happen.
What heaven perhaps will grant us:
not to be wondered at or required to succeed
but simply to be let in
as part of an undeniable Reality,
like stones of the road, like trees.
Borges sometimes crops up on those lists of conjectured asexuals of the past — you know, the endless lists that grow on the Wikipedia article and have to be trimmed back like vines. We have to accept that anyone who died before the very recent appearance of an asexual identity can never be anything but an object of conjecture in this regard. It’s true that sexual lust ranked extraordinarily low among Borges’s favored themes, but plenty of scholars will tell you he was gay, which is really just as credible. Whatever the case, I would imagine him a sympathetic soul and certainly a voice we can turn to. This poem in particular stands among my favorite expressions of unadorned love.