We present this work in honor of the poet’s 155th birthday.
Ox that I saw in my childhood, as you steamed in the burning gold on the Nicaraguan sun, there on the rich plantation filled with tropical harmonies; woodland dove, of the woods that sang with the sound of the wind, of axes, of birds and wild bulls: I salute you both, because you are both my life.
You, heavy ox, evoke the gentle dawn that signaled it was time to milk the cow, when my existence was all white and rose; and you, sweet mountain dove, cooing and calling, you signify all that my own springtime, now so far away, possessed of the Divine Springtime.
Waxen whores and young Anabaptists cross paths beneath this window in the Tremol Hotel. I sleep here. I eat in this gold and hibiscus dining room. Every night I dance with Zulita. Every morning the man at the next table wishes me good day. This is in the Tremol Hotel, beneath whose windows the paths cross of waxen whores and young Anabaptists.
But I have a soul as tender as marshmallows, and my eyes flash on and off like the intermittent neon signs. That’s why I love this hotel, this little rest, a locket of serenity.
Across the street, a sad sidewalk and a public clock drawn my eye each year, and thereupon I invent a tenderness old and ripe. In the Tremol Hotel, no one know me yet, in spite of my familiarity with its doors and its swallows. No one, maybe not even aviators, can treasure as I do these post-card memories.
I love this body of mine that has lived life, its hip flask outline, its softness of water, the spurting of hair that crowns my cranium, the crystal glass of a face, its delicate base that ascends faultless from shoulders and collarbone.
I love my back, gullible to turned-off stars, my revealed hills, fountains of the chest that provide the first sustenance of the species. Coming out of the ribs, mobile waist overflowing and warm vessel of my stomach.
I love the moon curve of my hips, moulded by alternate pregnancies, the vast roundness of the wave of my gluteals, and my legs and feet, foundations and support of the temple.
I love the handful of dark petals, the hidden fleece that stores the dawning mystery of paradise, the humid cavity where blood flows and living water shoots out.
This hurting body of mine that gets sick, that festers, that coughs, that perspires, secretes moods, feces, saliva, and that gets tired, exhausted, and withers.
Living body, link that assures the infinite chain of successive bodies. I love this body made of the purest mud: seed, root, sap, flower, and fruit.
Ah sing a song a love fa meh contry small contry, big lite hope fa de po’, big headache fa de rich. Mo’ po’ dan rich in de worl mo’ peeple love fa meh contry
Fa meh contry name Nicaragua Fa meh peeple ah love dem all Black, Miskito, sumu, Rama, Mesitizo, So yuh see fa me, love poem complete ‘Cause ah love you too. Dat no mek me erase de moon An de star fran de firmament.
Only somehow wen ah remenba how yuh bussing yo ass to defend dis sunrise, an keep back de night fran fallin, ah know dat tomara we will have time fa walk unda de moon an stars. Dignify an free, sovereign Children a Sandino.
Kisses don’t wither like the flowers of the malinche tree, hard shells of seeds don’t grow over my arms; I’m always flowering with this internal rain, like the green patios in May and I laugh because I love the wind and the clouds and the singing birds that pass overhead, even though I’m entangled with memories, covered with ivy like old walls, I go on believing in the secret whisperings, the strength of wild horses, the winged message of gulls.
As the falling rain trickles among the stones memories come bubbling out. It’s as if the rain had pierced my temples. Streaming streaming chaotically come memories: the reedy voice of the servant telling me tales of ghosts. They sat beside me the ghosts and the bed creaked that purple-dark afternoon when I learned you were leaving forever, a gleaming pebble from constant rubbing becomes a comet. Rain is falling falling and memories keep flooding by they show me a senseless world a voracious world–abyss ambush whirlwind spur but I keep loving it
because I do because of my five senses because of my amazement because every morning, because forever, I have loved it without knowing why.
The tree is happy because it is scarcely sentient;
the hard rock is happier still, it feels nothing:
there is no pain as great as being alive,
no burden heavier than that of conscious life.
To be, and to know nothing, and to lack a way,
and the dread of having been, and future terrors…
And the sure terror of being dead tomorrow,
and to suffer all through life and through the darkness,
and through what we do not know and hardly suspect…
And the flesh that temps us with bunches of cool grapes,
and the tomb that awaits us with its funeral sprays,
and not to know where we go,
nor whence we came!