Skip to content
Give readers a window on the world. Click to donate.
from the August 2005 issue

La Terra Santa

Insane asylum is a word much bigger
than the dark vortex of dreams,
yet it used to come once upon
blue thread or a distant
nightingale's song or your mouth
opened, biting at the blue
the fierce untruth of life.
Or an invalid's ruthless hand
slowly climbed your window
syllabifying your name and when
the foul number was finally loose you rediscovered
all the seriousness of your life.

Affori, a distant town
buried in filth,
here you know beams
and bolts and questions
and many many fears,
Affori, a new place
that when the mood strikes
sends you its naked ray
inside the soundless cell.

The best poems
are written on stones
with bended knees
and minds sharpened by mystery.
The best poems are written
before a naked altar,
surrounded by agents
of divine madness.
And so, mad criminal,
you dictate verses to humanity,
verses of revolt
and biblical prophecies
and you're a brother to Jonah.
But in the Promised Land
where the golden apples
and the tree of knowledge sprout
God has never descended or cursed you.
But you, instead, curse
your song by the hour
because you have descended into the limbo,
where you inhale the absinthe
of a survival denied.

My first mugging as a mother
was on a summer night
when a madman took me
and laid me on the grass
and made me conceive a child.
Never did the moon howl so greatly
against the offended stars,
and never so much did my entrails howl back
nor did the Lord turn his head
as in that precise instant
seeing my virginity as a mother
offended within an abomination.
My first mugging as a woman
was in a dark corner
beneath the impetuous warmth of sex,
but a sweet baby was born
with a wonderful smile
and all was forgiven.
But I will never forgive
and that child was torn from my womb
and placed in more "holy" hands
but I was the one who was violated
I who climbed above the heavens
for having conceived a genesis.

Read more from the August 2005 issue
Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.