«Let me reiterate: Water equals time and provides beauty with its double. Part water, we serve beauty in the same fashion. By rubbing water, this city improves time’s looks, beautifies the future. That’s what the role of this city in the universe is. Because the city is static while we are moving. The tear is proof of that. Because we are headed for the future, while beauty is the eternal present. The tear is an attempt to remain, to stay behind, to merge with the city. But that’s against the rules. The tear is a throwback, a tribute of the future to the past. Or else it is the result of subtracting the greater from the lesser: beauty from man. The same goes for love, because one’s love, too, is greater than oneself.»
Joseph Brodsky (1992). Watermark. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 134-5.