from Fall of the Tightrope Walker

Czar Gutiérrez

S H A D O W (T H A T W A V E S)

               T H E H A Z Y B R I G H T O F T H E W A T E R S

               She lets her beauty drip on the wellspring
               Sweetly she hums below the waving lunar shadow,

               [She describes the trajectory of a feather that gently falls upon a nest]

               SHE: two fine strokes and one brief
               Her brilliant skin
               At times, her delicate tongue leaves behind a kiss: that intense bright on both lips

               I handed her a beer
               —Drink—I said
               I drew the glass closer, folding to receive her lips

               And inside the delicate filigree (that pulverizes)
I swing
               I navigate each fold and I swing

               —I want to be fresh mouth,
calm water,
               At times, only rhythm

               (The breeze extracts nectar from the dawn)

               —Can you see? Through the mouth of the volcano, the sun’s red redness shows

               [She submerges her eyes in the glistening luminosity of the Universe]

               —Let us nail a steady point that shall be the planets’ center of rotation

               And—between the sunlit room and the secret one—they take flight, below the lunar shadow that waves, silvering.

               P L A I N O F T H E M O O N

               The moon advances toward the blue hoop

               Immersed in its yellow hair, she goes red
               She sheds her skin and goes red

               She receives the sliding star

               She (sweet chrysalis that blooms in every blast)
touches the sky—blue ring
and a light grows on her fingertips

               A light like a sword that opens and shines and
spills juice

               Lets loose her beautiful, expansive wave

               And a thin film of wax—fever—covers that fine line that separates the edge of her skin from the Universe

               Foamy and molecular
               She was of space: of snow.

               [P R A Y E R]

               Today I have lain under the moon and a deep rhythm runs through me

               Today I have immersed myself once more in her smooth, amber, or delicate light—surface of clarities at the center of which a beam is crushed, explodes, or groans

               Today immense as an animal that opens up its gut and fans the fire. Yet now enveloped in flames, I gaze at his high image inhabited with stars. I feel the shard of glass travel under my skin—oh fearful, exploring diaspora—and a potency as of an artery or a wire that with great tension disturbs and spreads the bloody range: I write

               I write to you, liquid female, captive lighting, arrow that guides and dissolves my left hand

              And look, life is like this: I who have been suspended describing the ellipse, the undulating movement of our bodies—an immense fluid that rides bluely sustained—; I who have raised everything to a high symbol, far from ice and storm—on the star of fire that melts—, as now I arch myself and, finally covered in lighting or madness, perceive your return: from a cloud of glass—that shatters—a blue fragment falls

              My love: I caress the moon that shines between my fingers while bidding goodbye to the golden claw that crosses your heart.

translated from the Spanish by Marta del Pozo and Nicholas Rattner