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I will not be outfaced by irrational things:
I will penetrate what it is in them that is saracastic upon me;
I will make cities and civilizations defer to me.

—Whitman

In a place called La Mancha whose name
I do not wish to remember

—Cervantes

Eunice traveled in her dreams
with wakened shoes,
Oh, Eunice, because of your feet
you will not see the day!

—E.O.

If I could open my dense flower
to see its intimate geography,
the sweet orography of a dense flower:
if I could leap from my eyes
to see myself, open to the sun,
if it did not strike me suddenly, in the cheek,
this gathered shadow,
this edge of silence,
which is like certain handkerchiefs to the tear,
a white dwelling, discovered.
If I could remain open to the sun
like the simple sea
a tall, newborn daughter of the water,
my color swelling by the water's edge.
Why should I not be able to uncover my feet
in a house where alphabets ascend
from the lip to the word, and ghosts of mint
serve green tea and blossomed shadows.
Why should I not be able to
uncover my feet in a house
where every day a year
casts off its melancholy stature,
a house where the blue coast of a reliquary
holds the picture of May's departed neighbor.
Nevertheless
I cannot uncover my feet in this house
nor set my heart on the table.
But I can open myself like a flower
and leap from my eyes to see myself,
open to the sun.

June 12, 1946, Granada, Nicaragua

Eunice Odio
Translation by Keith Ekiss and Sonia P. Ticas


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