To Whoever Is Reading Me

(written by Jorge Luis Borges; translated from the Spanish, by Alastair Reid)

You are invulnerable. Have they not granted you,
those powers that preordain your destiny,
the certainty of dust? Is not your time
as irreversible as that same river
where Heraclitus, mirrored, saw the symbol
of fleeting life? A marble slab awaits you
which you will not read–on it, already written,
the date, the city, the epitaph.
Other men, too, are only dreams of time,
not indestructible bronze or burnished gold;
the universe is, like you, a Proteus.
Dark, you will enter the darkness that expects you,
doomed to the limits of your travelled time.
Know that in some sense you are already dead.


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