Leo Boix

Leo Boix


‘If I could live my life again/in the next I’d try to make more mistakes’ — Jorge Luis Borges


In my other life I stayed behind
       in Argentina, had a wife,
three daughters, a benign
        tumor on my back, knifed
in a hospital that smelled of piss,
        the place in which father died
of leprosy. There was no bliss
        in this life, no place to hide.
Stepmother kept all our things,
        some fake things we took,
some flew away, like wings
         with strings and hooks.
In my other life I sold a sister
          for a pair of red shoes,
knee walked to Luján, oh the blisters!
         Read all the very bad news,
and the day I had to pass away,
         forgot to leave the house
and instead of being at my wake
         kept looking for my Levi Strauss. 


In my other life I stayed behind
       in Argentina, I declined
the Old World, preferred the new,
       the fear of a last adieu.
I studied biology, the birds.
       I went on forays for nests,
set up camp in a northern forest,
      settled in a spot by a river
where I found a tree of silver
      leaves, a wide tall canopy
lived there a few months, affably
       listening to the animals
frightened of me, a cannibal
       in the rotting forest floor,
in that world of the open, no doors.

LEO BOIX is a Latinx poet born in Argentina who lives in the UK. Boix is the recipient of the Bart Wolffe Poetry Prize 2018 and the Keats-Shelley Prize 2019. His debut collection Ballad of a Happy Immigrant will be published by Chatto & Windus in June 2021.