logo image a digital codex of contemporary pan-american writing

Issue 19, Poesía | September 2016



    There is a spot that I am sure of,
          incredibly, in this world,
          where we will never arrive.
		-César Vallejo, “Trilce” 

That spot is here, in sight of the Spanish
as they sought Osage gold.  
Without an astrolabe or sand glass,
landed meridian was a dotted line
which succumbed to river bends—
the only line was sight, but even the horizon bent
when creek beds browned and prairie grass
browned and Coronado’s broncos waned away
as the weeds were uprooted underfoot,
just as Vallejo’s typewriter withered in the parlors
    of Córboda,
in the sunken alleys
    of Málaga,
in the broken warehouses
    of Guernica. 
Should Vallejo had been here, he would see the spot—
Such is the spot that I am sure of—
    	      the fence post base
where wood, ground, and iron intersect—
and, although I lay my violet shadow across its face;
although a man once drove a stake through
the turf and coiled a pointed chain along its length;
this is where 
         we will never arrive.
Minute coordinates, measurements too fine to make;
an otherwise neglected space in relation to the baseline.
The width of winter grass blades
    which demarcate where the post stands
and where it should have been driven.  
    The gap between the squalid shoulders
of Valencian sisters stood up against the wall,
    not quite touching,
not quite touching.