On this page, a boy skates. See blades,
see ice. See his leg trembles. He will fall—
the future. On the river bank, another boy
waits—the present. I’m learning
No comprendo. Of the numbers, I remember one,
of course, and eight. If asked, my phone:
ocho-ocho-uno. I say, Yo soy Grégorio
but I am not Gregory. This boy on skates
se llama Grégorio. Greg tiene eight.
Grégorio has ocho años, possesses
the number of times the river has frozen.
¿Qué hora es? Upside-down question
marks, for me, me gusta, this announcement
of inquiry. The time, las ocho minus uno—
below the equator, it’s summer. Simple
futurity: it will be—; I shall—. Futility,
hopeless labor of so many tenses, tests,
the stone rolls back down—determination,
tensile stress (see: STRENGTH OF MATERIALS)
leads only to expansion. Vocabulary,
a simple tent resembles the letter A—primitive
dwelling of new words—verbs like ropes,
structural members in a particular tense,
say past. Tenochtitlán (see: SPANISH CONQUEST).
I no longer say eggs for Thursday.
A small victory, the distance between
why and because: por qué to porque—
nearly the range of a tenor, two
full octaves from C to C.
Si, conquistadors of figure ochos.
Figure in a few blunders. Like a tenpin
the boy falls. The other boy laughs.
Always pitch your tent on high ground.