There was a high wall between our houses.
Difficult to send her a message.
There was no email.
Her father was a jaguar.
We tied notes to a rock bound to a rope
and I threw the rock into her backyard.
It was glorious.
But sometimes the note got stuck in the branches of the guayaba tree
and then it was agony.
So it was in the time of jaguars.

Translation of "Namorada." Copyright Manoel de Barros. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2007 by Idra Novey. All rights reserved.

Read Manoel de Barros's "Song of Seeing."