Outside Times Ten and One Within

09-23 Castellon
Blanca Castellón
Nicaraguan
b. 1958

 

I
Outside

is desert
keen to be river

there’s laughter I don’t listen to

folk walk around
whose hearing is blind

outside no hugs are given
there’s haste and abysses

bridges have gone missing

II
Outside

there are no dogs in the street
no tiny red turtles

not one lizard
basking in rooftop sun

III
Outside

is the moon whose breast
gapes with wounds

a plague of poets
fouls the silence

the tree says goodbye to its roots
and no one feels sad

art like crime
leaves its trail of clues

IV
Outside

there’s dirty linen
shamelessly displayed

trash is deep
outside it’s sickening

deep is the past
deep the future

there’s dried-up vomit
in the volcano’s crater

field on field
of lamentation

there’s Washington
Iraq
Somalia
Haiti

V
Outside

it’s dangerous
to break the spell

there are black verses
forever on everyone’s lips

outside I panic
the sweet names
are exhausted

VI
Outside

there’s no cosy bed
no sheet without stains

no eye pure in its seeing
no easy distances

no mother
no father

outside is a landscape
of forgotten letters

VII
Outside

a child
bursts waiting into tears

there are ulcers in the shadows

traffic in caprice
and other narcotics

books no one will read
outside is absence

VIII
Outside there’s reliable evidence
of angels who rain down coffee

there are tricksters
old photographs

clever flowers
that fade on cue

outside dreams hurt
and drums rumble with evil

cracks in the earth
are spreading

IX
Outside

the poor come back
to die in traps

there’s hunger and a
closed horizon

outside is long

narrow
dry

there’s dust
bones

and a welter of bodies
in a common sky

X
Outside

another outside
is under construction.

XI
Within

joy is here within
deep within

dig
and water gushes

within is Nicaragua.

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