TO BARBARA DURAN
Fragile cords, vibrant,
rush forward to look beyond the hillock,
bent by a strong wind.
They glimpse a water niche,
or the naught of a luxurious cloud.
The snow-white blinding reflection.
The earth has stripes of incandescence.
Paintings of a sole hand
knocking at their canvas.
You move, lightly, on the wax.
On the table you lay out a pomegranate,
little roses, boughs to carve the sounds
of shadows on the spread color.
Mime of your soul.
Actress on your stage.
Narrator in your memory.
Painter on your trail.
This slender tree all branches
is cold and trembles on the hill.
skeleton undressed, leafless bough.
No roots, no trunk, to the wind.
Behind it rises a cloud,
widening the stain of water,
white, inside a curtained night.
Then the other, where the ground subsides.
Both carry in the palm of the hand
an infant-angel, all blue.
The cloud becomes ancestor: with a head.
Both bare, yet undiluted.
Over its shoulder it slings the tree-girl,
as a saddle bag, braces to button up
the landscape down to the belt.
There where the heights intertwine,
flows the river incandescent at the center.
The tree-girl wants to lay down
the cloud, lay it down and play,
but it stays still. Therefore
against it she leans and turns it over
carrying it, curved as cradle or spoon.
The wind sings a lullaby,
the tree-girl is shackled
yet does not turn around.