The fact is the window.
There are as much windows as there are people viewing them, windows that open to the city. When we travelled to the city, you only saw its windows. The city itself a window and the window itself a room but a room without a view. Your city had no electric posts, no leaking pipes for us to repair. The city in which I lived in had vacant rooms for rent. We lived in rooms that had never been disturbed. We believed that every city could be found behind every window, that every city could crowd into the smallest frame. The fact of the city is permeability. I only saw the city clearly through windows, you saw the city for what it is. The city light should be enough for us to read to each other, sentences that seem as fragile as windows, as secluded as cities. I will learn how to go about the streets and squares, you will learn their names. I will speak the language of the city, you will call your address your home. When the city arrives, there will too arrive a window.
The fact that the window is.
There as much windows as cities that have them, cities that open windows. When we chose to live in the city, you wanted to live in a city without windows. The view itself a city and the city itself a window but a window without a room. Your city has no crosswalks, no bridges for us to cross. The city in which I lived in had showrooms available for us to linger in. We lived under billboards and signs, windows with people inhabiting them. We believed that every city fell into routine, that every city had left traces of what was half-remembered. The fact of the city is its perimeter. I only saw the city as I passed through every corner of an alley, you saw its edge in the shadow of every object you held close. The city light should be enough for us to reach each other, walls as transparent as windows, as plain as cities. I will measure the time it takes for you complete a day, you will tell me you have taken another route. I will recognize your face among the many, you will say you have always been here. When the city enters, there will enter a window.
In fact, there is a window.
There are as much windows as there are rooms in the city, windows that compose the city. When we lived in the city, you stood on the spot in view of all windows. The room itself a view and the view itself a city but a city without a window. Your city had no plastic plants, no enclosure where we could grow a garden. The city in which I lived in had rooms that gave way for change. We lived in a city that had no concept of space. We believed that every city hides another, that every city appears when one least notices. The fact of the city is permanence. I only saw the city when I stood up all night to await your return, you saw the city by day and by night. The city light should be enough for us to read each other’s lips, conversations as mute as windows, as solemn as cities. I will trace the outline of the city on the dim streets, you will locate the city’s streets on the creases of your palm. I will take photos as remembrances of what had been, you will only remember what you have seen. When the city is demolished, there will break a window.
There is a fact outside the window.
There are as much windows as there are people leaving, windows that negate cities. When we left the city, you said the windows had been kind to you. The window itself a room and the room itself a view but a view without a city. Your city had no sunsets, no sunrise for us to anticipate. The city I lived in had rooms furnished with mildew. We lived in places vaster than maps. We believed that every city is a glass waiting to be broken, that every city wants. The fact of the city is transition. I only saw the city after we left, you saw the city before. The city light should be enough for us to regard each other’s eyes, longing as knowable as windows, as lost as cities. I will list the cities I have never lived in, you will mention the cities where you have. I will glance out the window as if for the very first time, you will glance out the window as if the city exists only to you. When the city leaves, there will remain a window.
Bernard Capinpin is a poet and translator. He resides in Quezon City.