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Antigua

It was long before dawn when we reached the narrow road,
And, hand and hand we together went, over the prickled hills.
Hand and hand we together went, over the dusty dunes.

Down to where the white sand swirled,
And, the jagged, coral rocks pretended,
They were velvet smooth.

The green waves rang against the cove.
They called us to them with flowers of foam.
With songs of salt,
With voices, pink and gray,
Of half uncovered rocks.
Time was still and drifted,
Not yet formed, along the silent edge of tide pools,
Hid beneath the broken seed pods,
And, inside wind swept petals.

The dawn came suddenly, out of the ocean,
Gray oysters clouds grew,
Out of the promontory,
Above a clear, polished mirror of abalone yellow.
Settling, pearl and opalescent,
Over the pale horizon.

The magical stars drifted away,
And, between the stranded seashells,
Scattered by seaweed fingers,
The butterflies with rusty wings, awoke,

Then there was nothing else to do,
But, look into one another’s eyes,
And, laugh at the cactus,
And, the prickly pears,
Casting transparent shadows,
Onto the sand beside our toes.

We could have easily just held hands,
And, walked back then with wet hair flying,
And, feet bare through the shining, shifting surf,
Leaving only our footprints under the waves.

We could have clambered back across the cliff,
Where the coolness of the shadows,
Would have hidden us,
In the same silk green the spiders seek,
When brilliant lizards start to hunt.

Our footsteps could have traced the way,
To old, forlorn, forgotten sugar mills,
Where seagulls scream and stone walls stare,
All empty eyed, at non-existent winds.

We could have gone into the painted town,
To drink hot coffee or to breakfast with hibiscus and hummingbirds.
We could have gone to visit the long, green shadowed harbor,
Where the silent, sailing ships rest from the arduous seas.

But, these were not the ways we went.
Instead, we stayed with the enchantment.
Stayed inside of our dream,
Beside the transparent shadows.
On the pink and gray, bubbling shore.

We wrapped ourselves in one another,
And, fell asleep by the sea.

 

V. Castellanos – 1962

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