Look, the night doesn’t fall like a curtain
or rise from any ground. In fact,
it doesn’t move at all.
It’s still there, even in the heat of noon.
Fields of dog grass.
We pass through that black purse
like stones through a gizzard,
grinding against each other, a currency
no sooner earned than spent.
Our features fade, rubbed smooth.
Veins appear just under the skin.
Strands of silver.
bald as a nickname.
Now more than ever, I am nothing you’d
care to save. But night still rattles
with the dreams of poor Indians,
in their hats & shawls like broody hens
unwilling to abandon the egg
that will never hatch.
Big overblown Carnival.
Lines in italics are taken from Quechua folksongs collected by Jesíºs Lara and translated by Maria A. Proser and James Scully (Quechua Peoples Poetry, Curbstone Press, 1976).
For background on Potosí, see here.
Tomorrowat midnight is the deadline to submit links for the second Festival of the Trees, which will be hosted by Roundrock Journal. Send links to any tree-related blog posts to Pablo: editor [at] roundrockjournal [dot] com. For more information about the Festival, see here.
Imagine having to go on with no way to touch.
Giving birth to the child of who knows which
stoned soldier, & never knowing the silky
feel of his skin, whether to caress
or to shove away, away.
I let him nurse to ease the swelling in my breasts.
I licked him like a cat — it was all the salt I could get.
Were they not terrible, those severed hands,
when they stood back up at last
& began to point?
Who cares what
I watched a slug
gliding over a rock
on its single
I like how,
during a yawn,
my head fills
with the roar of
its own surf.
So much better than
called anger, pride,
or the fever
my poor sam
pee-body — as
the sparrows say —
tries to rid itself
of that virus