The Anchor

Ramón López Velarde
1888 – 1921


Before I cast anchor in the treasure
Of my last love, I have need
To course the world, fevered as a racer —
In my pockets, youth
And a golden seed

And to embrace a serpent of the Nile
Such as the chlamys of Cleopatra hid,
And to hearken to the quiet soliloquy
Of the Virgin Mary in the pyramid

To disembark in my native land,
To make myself a child and childlike trace
On my old school slate, in crayon,
The profile of a Guadalupean face —

To kiss like the Hindoos or the Polynesians,
Like the striped wood beasts or shaggy bears.
And to cast anchor by a countrywoman of mine,
Wearing long earrings in her small ears.

And to say to Love — of all my sins
Even the blackest were passionate lovers.
Out of my cloisters a miserere rises up
And moves toward you with the steps of a baby,
Or as the white island of bubble hovers
On the surface of a coffee cup.

And, since my five fierce fingers of sense
Grasp the five great continents,
I can, O last love and ultimate goal,
Place my hand upon your Guadalupean soul.

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