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Circe Maia Circe Maia

Brian Cole
Translated by Brian Cole


Small and persistent changes.

Under the sky is now a degree
of luminosity or gentle warmth.

More dust has fallen on the floor or on the chair.

The tiniest wrinkle appears or deepens.

There is a new tone in the sound
of the familiar voice (would you notice?).

In a confused choir of intermingled voices
some are missing, others
now join in.
8888888888888Just the same
sum total: there are no changes.

A millionth wave strikes against
A millionth rock

8888888888888 and the erosion,
imperceptible and certain,


These little squares are exciting,
of different colours, like tiles,
one red, another yellow, another black.

Splashing different shades
they amazingly suggest
divisions of time:
one now, one then, the ticking
of the clock. Scattered
different moments.

There also appear mysterious games
of motionless counters.
The movement is in the eyes
That jump from one to the other.

The little coloured squares
are there.
8888888888888They wait
and erupt, intermittently,
at the very edge of sight.

An Amazonian Myth

Hear the history of Death.
It was on earth, hidden.
It was not below.

An underground water, pure,
was drunk by the immortals
under the earth.

Who was to blame?
He who went out and broke bounds and jumped outside
because he heard the song of a bird.

He should not have listened.
He should not have gone out.
He left the place of safety.

He collected fruits, plants,
and carried them inside, below.

And in every fruit there was a seed of death.

The seeds fell. They germinated.