Ricardo Reis

NUMBERLESS live in us;
I think or feel, ignorant
Of who is thinking or feeling.
I am only the place where
Someone feels or thinks.

I have more than one soul.
There are more I's than I.
Even so I exist
Indifferent to them all.
I silence them: I speak.

The crossed impulses of what
I feel or do not feel
Dispute in who I am.
I ignore them. They dictate nothing to
Whom I know I am: I write.

[trans. Chris Daniels & Dana Stevens]

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