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from the September 2020 issue

Four Short Poems

Peruvian writer Sui-Yun meditates on sin and sensual pleasure in four short poems.

To Eve, my eternal mother

To erase my sins
I have licked the tip of evil
I know Eve did the same
our longings ended up sucking
at the shafts of trees extracting
drop by drop the sap of the apple branch

To turn away from evil
I’ve crammed my jars full
of somber recollections
calling to the unknown silks
radiating from my body

To turn away from evil
I’ve added every letter of your body
to my body, tattooing myself whole.

Lima, May 30, 2000


On the roots of certain oaks
my blush grows, apple-flavored
and it’s my dream that lies languid
like an oyster in the chamber.


the sound of dawn
your hands seize the light
of the hills over your knees

a parasol
covers my veins,
the tender tickle of the cranes

your seed is born
in the chaucos’ arid song
there where the slopes
delight the furrow
of your gaze.


Standing before the mirror
I join my tightrope
to the shine of my tactile
down goes my lightweight olive of a body
oleum sacrum specum miraculum
the soft rook penetrates
ejaculating my dreams
sunk behind mountains
in the moon’s emanations.


© Sui-Yun. By arrangement with the author. Translations © 2020 by Jennifer Shyue. All rights reserved.

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