The Ceasefire and 3 Other Poems

Paula Srur Carcar

The One That Ran

I see you in the park,
in the darkness of a night
filled with quietness.

I fall in love every time you look up
with the way your eyes stare amazed
you keep forgetting there are stars.

To admire, to aspire,
there are stars in this world
that carry our city through a spring that shouldn’t have happened.

Life is as safe as the cup of tea you left on your nightstand
the day before you left.
Freezing every moment and promising the illusion of eternal warmth,
protecting all that surrounds it from the absurdity of time.

That’s how you make me feel.

And here and now, as disarmed as I am,
I feel the tragedy of knowing
I don’t have anything eternal in me to offer you.

But I’ll stay still until you decide to leave again
to a daylight universe
where harm won’t touch the children
that one day will protect our sky.

The One That Stayed

For when all hope is gone
I’ll leave this face with no pores unshielded.
The broken glass in my pocket will keep on breaking
until it becomes one with the fabric,
then the skin, then the blood.

Until that day,
I’ll keep standing on the same tile
as I’m ingrained in this street
like the sadness of a land with the name of a river.

There was a time when the windows in front of me
knew how to announce the change of season.
The gelaterias reflected the people’s impunity
at the beginning of summer,
the front of the supermarket filled itself with sales on blueberries
as the spring took over the winter.

Now that the hunger has displaced the will
the windows are only left there for us to remember we have bodies,
that there’s supposed to be a reason for us to keep on walking
against the dryness.

I decided to believe in that promise,
to believe we’ll find other ways to seize our days,
and to vindicate the power of our democracy.

There’s a few that couldn’t,
a few that couldn’t stand the portrait painted by the mirrors,
and that one night, under cover,
shattered their images in rebellion.

We, the ones that stayed, grab onto the shards of their despair
like pieces in a museum
to remind ourselves there’s beauty in a million vengeances
that are now lying on the floor.

We used to look into each other’s eyes,
and we used to know our voices.

Yet, there’s something about the ones who stayed
that no one else could know.
We see the little girls, grabbed by their mother’s hand,
that go out into the world, a new world,
without despair, without grief.
And we take care of a town that lost us,
for you to be able to choose your own.

Words On Freedom

All the company we need,
All the hugs and affection,
All the beautiful people we haven’t met yet,
All the things that I can’t think of as I encounter you one last time.

We learned how to let this burn
and let the ashes be enough.

How could you betray this confidence,
my confidence, in the middle of the street,
with no one around you to judge you but myself
no one who knows you better?

Are you afraid of me?
I’m afraid of you.

It takes time to listen.
Being here with you,
the one who brought me back to myself
so many times before,
I understand that time is all we’ve ever been.

Not a team, not a love,
but the freedom we once knew to have,
as we wasted time together,
setting the streets on fire.

The Ceasefire

Dedicating life to sound and the feeling of being surrounded.

Dedicating life, not so much as losing yourself as it is deciding to explore it in its more intimate way.

Music and sound are changing everyone’s life from the shadows. But don’t wake up, people! It’s better not knowing you’re being transmuted.

Go on. Keep on enjoying it blindly, thinking it’s just noise far from your control. Keep on staring at the world with those tiny lost eyes of yours, thinking you’re still you.

Because one day you’ll cry.

One day, you’ll feel your body regaining what has been stolen and your floor will feel a little warmer.

You’ll become one with the outside where that same sound used to be and every moment of silence will cut your skin, like the first winter breath you take stepping out from your house, letting you know something’s coming that never really left.

You’ll realize it all started long ago, with your mother’s voice as she put you to bed close to her body, or with that guitar you heard on the subway when you were 14 trying so hard to fight the city’s exhaustion. A moment when you comprehended that a different energy could disturb your known world, like a whimsical element that surrounds every living thing but decides to show itself once in a while, careful not to reveal its real power.

Yet, like every other element, we normalized it. Like fire, the most unlimited of them all, I took it for granted.

Until one day I started to see it everywhere; this element, this annoying quirky thing was starting to take over my life. It’s all I could think of, it’s all I wanted to talk about. My hand started to move independently again, almost always looking for a piano, with the curiosity of a child that has nothing to lose.

It started to grow without me noticing. And that playground, little by little, began to take a more complex, polished form. Six years later, I’m here, dedicating this life, my life, the only one I’ll ever know, to sound.

There’s no need for professionalism or expertise to let it in. You can see it every Sunday at the park’s crossroads, embodied in the people who stand in front of a bandoneon player for hours to watch her play the only 10 songs she knows, and in her smile every time she looks up and they’re still there.

Take your time, it’s gonna live forever between us, music as a combination of sound and silence, along with our infinite dichotomies. Continue to carry those weapons that keep the outside far away, because it’s waiting for you to announce it, to give it a name, for what is not pronounced doesn’t exist. And at that moment you’ll be disarmed for life.

Enjoy the ease, I’ll see you at the armistice.

Paula Srur Carcar is a composer, singer, and pianist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is currently majoring in Film and Media Scoring at Berklee College of Music in Boston. She’s a human rights activist and wants to compose and perform music that encourages the interconnection of cultures. From 2021 she has been working on the scores of a variety of audiovisual projects and continues to collaborate with composers and studios based in Buenos Aires and New York.

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