Every afternoon The woman sits before an open window guilty of not being air, water –or at least a wing that flies- of being only a woman before an open window.
Every afternoon the sky hangs itself out to dry beyond the open window ashamed of not being man, flesh, body —or at least earth— of being only sky beyond an open window, Secret passion of guilt and shame: a golden woman of violet sky every afternoon through an open window.
You come to me at last, just as you were, with your ancient emotion and your unspoiled rose, Lazarus the straggler, a stranger to the fire of hope, forgetting disintegration even as it burned to dust, ashes, nothing more.
You return to me, in one piece and not even out of breath, with your great dream immune to the cold of the tomb, when already Martha and Mary, weary of waiting for miracles and plucking the leaves of twilight, have slowly descended the slope of all the Bethanies in silence.
You come, relying on no more hope than your own hope, no more miracle than your own miracle. Impatient and sure of finding me still yoked to the last kiss.
You come all flowers and new moon, quick to wrap me in your pent-up tides, in your stormy clouds, in your confused fragrances which I begin to recognize one by one.
You come still yourself, safe from time and distance, safe from silence, and bring me like a wedding gift the already-savored secret of death.
But here I am, a bride again, not knowing whether I rejoice or weep at your return, over the terrifying gift you give me, even over the joy which strikes me like a blow. I don’t know whether it is late or early to be glad. Truly, I don’t know; I no longer remember the color of your eyes.
We present this work in honor of the 40th anniversary of the poet’s death.
(for Salvador Ocasio)
thin white hair
Strange gentleman’s stance
I think: This old man has a Unamuno head.
Trenches rather than furrows
line his olive face.
He speaks haltingly.
Moves his hands slowly.
Sixteen years, he says,
Bridgeport and sixteen years of his life.
Sixteen years without sun
for these colourless trousers
and this bitter weariness
that give his smile a steel hue.
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 110th birthday.
An obscure meadow lures me,
her fast, close-fitting lawns
revolve in me, sleep on my balcony.
They rule her beaches, her indefinite
alabaster dome re-creates itself.
On the waters of a mirror,
the voice cut short crossing a hundred paths,
my memory prepares surprise:
fallow dew in the sky, dew, sudden flash.
Without hearing I’m called:
I slowly enter the meadow,
proudly consumed in a new labyrinth.
a hundred heads, bugles, a thousand shows
baring their sky, their silent sunflower.
Strange the surprise in that sky
where unwilling footfalls turn
and voices swell in its pregnant center.
An obscure meadow goes by.
Between the two, wind or thin paper,
the wind, the wounded wind of this death,
this magic death, one and dismissed.
A bird, another bird, no longer trembles.
Put me to death
in the blood of this crystal
that I might go unblemished to God.
An embrace of vineyards and sugarcane
overthrew the quietude in which I rose.
A sweet embrace remembered
will open into the light
the protected, ravelled way,
used for the first time
in centuries of brotherly silence.
Through so much anointing,
through so much stony silence
moist silence of tile sun of flight
— silence revived in cries.
Put me to death
in the mystery of Your wine and Your water
on the side through which I live,
on the rock in which I seek wisdom
through the fog of a mystical tropical morning.
If I am put to death this way
I might live forever in the silence
of a day without soil and brine.
All may come by the roads
we least suspect.
All may come from within, wordless,
or from without, burning
and breaking itself in us, unexpectedly,
or grow, as certain joys grow,
with no one listening.
And everything may open one day in our hands
with wistful surprise
or with bitter surprise, unarmed, undressed,
with the sadness of he who suddenly
comes face to face with a mirror and doesn’t see himself
and looks at his eyes and fingers
and uselessly searches for his laughter.
And that’s the way it is. All may come
in the most incredibly desired way,
so strangely far
and coming, not come
nor leave when left behind and lost.
And, for that encounter, one must gather poppies,
a sweet bit of skin, peaches or child,
clean for the greeting.