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from the September 2020 issue

Here in Chorrillos

Aquí en Chorrillos

In this poem, Peruvian writer Doris Moromisato contemplates love and longing in a seaside neighborhood of Lima.

Here I say again that I don’t love you
while city mist loosens the sky
dampens my geraniums.

Grounded like a gull on the terrace
I recall the sermon at Benares
and agree: suffering
lives in me.

During the festival of San Pedro the fishermen
sling their offerings to the sea
my eyes fill with rowboats
and the sprawl of petals taken by the tide
shows me how small
vastness is.
I lower my forehead, not watching
the water that keeps me from your mouth.
I shut my eyes and sink
the boats that never bring me to you.

Everything is suffering, the great Sakya teaches me
and there is no one to beg
or ask forgiveness
for this love.

Here I say again that I don’t love you
that everything is fleeting
save this suffering.

Migrating gulls on the horizon.
Loose threads of water.
The city’s mist
on my hair.

“Aquí en Chorrillos” © Doris Moromisato. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2020 by Margaret Wright. All rights reserved.

Aquí en Chorrillos

Aquí repito que no te amo
mientras la garúa deshilacha el cielo
moja mis geranios.

Varada en la terraza cual gaviota
evoco el sermón de Benarés
y asiento que el dolor
habita en mí.

En la fiesta de San Pedro los pescadores
arrojan sus ofrendas al mar
mis ojos se llenan de barcas
y los pétalos que la corriente esparce
me demuestran cuán pequeña es
la inmensidad.
Yo bajo la frente para no mirar
el agua que me separa de tu boca.
Cierro los ojos para que naufraguen
todas las barcas que nunca me llevan a ti.

Todo es dolor, me enseña el gran sakya
y nadie hay para suplicar
ni perdir perdón
por este amor.

Aquí repito que no te amo
que todo es efímero
salvo este dolor.

Gaviotas migran en el horizonte.
Hilachas de agua.
sobre mi pelo.

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