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Julio Ortega

Laura's Death

Translated by Michael L. Smith

How briefly savage I saw your pure body
enclosed by my eyes
my eyes like two men
or a crowd.
Impossible for a time
soon broken in a rare garden
Or two men or a standing crowd
tame or savage
asking for doors walls or windwos
opver the brief ever more brief
white abyss
only form of your hollow body
in a desert also white
And what can be said: dying is a verb,
death is something more than your body
separating stems in a field
like memory?
In this absence of meaning
how briefly savage
the flowers that imagine this life
in an assailed time
your body is this same flesh
drawing its small river
pure form drained of the rigor of the sun
How briefly savage
your body falling in a yellow field
as a lost bird
and among impious doors
my eyes are two men
or a crowd

Rituales, 1976