From violent dampnesses, from
places where the residues
of torments and whimpers mesh,
this arterial grief, this shredded
They go insane,
even the mothers who run through my veins.
The tortured shadows
near the signs.
I think about the day when horses learned to weep.
Who shows up
such a summer, lighting
black lamps, hissing
into the pure blue of knives?
They come with lanterns, lugging
blind snakes to
the albescent sand.
There’s a blaze of bells. Steel
can be heard groaning
in the city surrounded by howls.
They scream before calcined walls.
They note the silhouette of knives, see
the sun’s circle, the surgery
of the animal stuffed with shadow.
in the white fistulas.
There was an extraction of men. I saw
the root living on the omen.
I saw insects sucking up tears, saw
blood on the yellow churches.
There were scorched flowers and denim
draped over a weeping machine.
Oil and shrieking in the steel and
propellers and bloody numbers
in the purity of my rage.
I recognized the tenanted shrouds
and the spark plugs of pain. Orations
boiled up between the lips
of frigid women.
mortal music, the shriek
of incessant horses, it was
a funeral pavane at the hour
of the bloodied cotton ball.
It was the drooping of thousands of heads,
the gargoyle, its maternal howl, the circles
of the tormented hen.
It’s even, once again, the whitewash, the bone
cold in our hands, the
policeman’s black marrow.
bodies along the edge of
the cold acequias.
I saw the ropes and cords, saw
the metallic seed and the briars
white with spines and light. Enpurpled,
they were gobbling up the insects.
I found mercury in my pupils, tears
in the lumber, light
on the wall of the dying.
Beneath the busyness of ants
there were eyelids and there was
toxic water in the gutters.
Even in my heart
there are ants.
It’s going to dawn over the prisons and tombs.
The tortured head eyes me: its
ivory blazes like caught lightning.
From “Ira.” © Antonio Gamoneda. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2013 by Forrest Gander. All rights reserved.