Eugenio Montejo


In the depths of a woman's body

    a house is constructed

    amidst murmurs and pauses.

There are shadows of stones to collect,

    fragile scaffolds, in this act

    of imitating the sparrow.

Above all when she sleeps,

    smiling in dreaming—

    to survey her completely

    don't wake her up;

trace the slope of her hips,

the sweep of her hands.

Along the dunes containing her dream,

    those turbulent settings,

    high walls are raised

to keep out the rain, and the wind,

    year after year.

A gesture sometimes informs a wall;

from a whisper a window is born;

and after wandering we dismount at the door

    and tie up the horse.

In the depths of her body the house

    awaits, the table fitted with plain

    words for living, or for dying perhaps,

            no one can say—

    nobody who enters ever leaves.

—Translated from the Spanish by Kirk Nesset