Magazine article World Literature Today

Three Poems

Magazine article World Literature Today

Three Poems

Article excerpt

The instrument did not choose this ceremony.

My mother offered me five strings, nouns

without a grammar.

I leftmy mother's emptiness, to embrace my own.

Whose darkness sits in the north,

if no one can sing my sorrow?

It arrives again, a tapatío Sunday.

Sitting in sombras, the Village piper contemplates

an honest death, full, a music that penetrates

a soul once given to fears it now tolerates.

The piper must see the benevolence the day

allows, how it turns upon a debt he must pay.

Plaza sand becomes a vibrating string, sign

that fashions a first harmonic of secret rain-

nothing as simple as the flourishing and grain

and temper of voice that tends a sovereign domain,

nothing as rigorous as a once broken line,

nothing as fertile as the piper's own design.

The twilight belongs to this hymnal presence,

to the frequency of a rhythm given by chance.

The piper would close the book on such dissonance;

he knows nostalgia measures an extravagance

his spirit cannot afford; he leftthat evidence

beyond the plaza where death sustains an absence. …

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