Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Poetry · South African Culture · South African Literature

Jacques Coetzee

And if now
by the flashlight of the mind
I was to look for you,
conjure you as I have come to know you,
you would split into a thousand points of memory,
disjointed bits unable to cohere.

But if I sweep these aside and wait
in the rich, silent dark, and listen,
forgetting what I am listening for,
in that empty space I have made ready
I know that you will always meet me—
a whole presence that can extinguish me
and give me back to the generous dark.

– Jacques Coetzee, “The Flashlight of the Mind,” The Love Sheet by Barbara Fairhead and Jacques Coetzee (Hands-On Books, 2017)

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