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Featured in this issue Migrations / Migraciones

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Available from Junction Press. See Feature for details.

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Photo of Gloria Gervitz by Garciela Iturbide

Photo of Mark Schafer by Marjorie Attignol Salvodon

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For more information on Mark Schafer's new translation of the work of David Huerta, Before Saying Any of the Great Words: Selected Poetry of David Huerta, go to www.beforesaying.com

Gloria Gervitz
Gloria Gervitz









V Equinox







                  Fires
                  burn in my heart.
                  No smoke rises.
                  No one knows.

                                             Kenneth Rexroth


                  I moan for love
                  Before my birds
                  They are also caged

                                            Geisha Song


                  . . .is the shipwreck then a harvest,
                  does tempest carry the grain for thee?

                                            Gerard Manley Hopkins











out of what severance does the offering come?

monotonous
                     petals of water

                                         flapping wings
                                         sundering

splinters

                 and that billowing swell beneath my skin

                             bolt of syllables

before June
before the rain

                 saudades



it rains


                         an initiation


as if she had drunk hemlock

        she lets her do it
        watches her do it


water bursts into
                          the passageways of her scream

close to the sobbing

                                  the quick drop

                          flowing
                                             in disarray

and the body opens
                               offers itself

in the vulnerable darkness of abandonment

                          your quick fingers full of mercy

bending legs

                          the obliging body

severed branch

                      scent of freesia

a headlong fall


                       from the deepest of places

I am shattering

                       chalice

         no one

                pure flight

       the dry flow

flowers a dam

             the body beyond all measure

and she said

       dark are my clothes
       and you who surmounts me
       darkest
       but it is I who pass all limits


             like a lengthening stain
             like a raised fist


burning to the orphan's core
                                 howling


                like a split ceiba

            the grievous passion


I'm barely trembling now
or did my trembling become a plea?


             in this silence
opens me like a furrow

        she-wolf
flesh of dreams


                             could fear be

the pinnacle?


and it drops

between me
and myself

in that January lull
on its slope

         a plea       a gash
a dislocation

in this yellow landscape

there in that well
in that mirror of the flesh

on the edges where I lie
in my aloneness

and drops
to where it hurts

arching
swaying

and the exuberant
plunge

opens this flesh

and the eager
                     body

dares not refuse


swallows drop like stones
from the towering abyss

these words
beneath your weight

the hand sinks under the gaze

                         and the body surrenders




Mark Schafer
Gervitz
Translated from the Spanish by Mark Schafer