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At the end of this journey
I have leant my dreams
over the balustrade of her name.

The turbid water of shadow
has gotten into the night
up to our hearts.

              —Immobile crowds
              are besieging the horizon.—

I have clutched her image
against my grief,
and the moon, supported in windowpanes,
is the cool
of her forehead.

An unexpected perfume
stirs her up in my memory;
her attitude of sweetness
has Latin “filing.”
O her Platonic flesh,
geometry that rests in her bust—!

Her smile is the flower of organic harmony,
and the countryside
thrills her,
within my panoramic

But all the same,
the tenant
irrigated her remembrance with dry leaves.

O my distant girlfriend,
romantic cloud of smoke
from the first verses.


Manuel Maples Arce
Translated by Alexandra Becker

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II. Poems of Distance
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