Night Music for Summer – Poem

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To you, Llorona…
 ‘si porque te quiero, quieres,
quieres que te quiera más’ ¹
first, evening succumbs to wine’s red glow
but who do I seem in this lessening light?
pale summer days pass between us
your letter will arrive before you, Llorona
your boat pulls away, separation, scent of coffee
bright bird of my fortune sticks fast in the lees
leave Proust, let him sleep by night’s cool side
stars will lean down to kiss his dreamy eyes
full-stop deep green, comma bitter blue,
happiness so fine-spun, sorrow wide and loose
you rose at night and laughed like sips of water
full of life as we rode between the railway cars
I once thought water fickle, mercurial
I was wrong, Llorona; the faithless one was summer
a song that says you must never cry
my winter flower hides under the canopy
death, a winter twilight, streetlamps
a window closing on forever
there in the oaks an orange half-moon
thinks empty beds the most heartbreaking view…
July 2009,
¹ (anon. Mexican folk song) ’Because I love you, Weeping Woman, you want for me to love you more,’ La Llorona/Weeping Woman is a South American legend:
Although several variations exist, the basic story tells of a beautiful woman by the name of Maria who drowns her children in order to be with the man that she loved. The man would not have her, which devastated her. She would not take no for an answer, so she drowned herself in a lake in Mexico City. Challenged at the gates of heaven as to the whereabouts of her children, she is not permitted to enter the afterlife until she has found them. Maria is forced to wander the Earth for all eternity, searching in vain for her drowned offspring, with her constant weeping giving her the name “La Llorona”. She is trapped in between the living world and the spirit world.
translation © Caroline Stockford, April 2013
Ana Carvallo

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