When in you, like a tumescent member in a sensual dance,
by Juan Alvarado
I always walk northbound from the main square,
Inside you, through you, in spite of you,
I always walk northbound and always on one street.
Magical, unexplainable directionality of the unthinking mind, your street,
Scintillating illusion, ethereal artery of the magic dawn,
Eternal symbol of the new start, you cross streets,
Pregnant with history, ideas, a graph. Your architecture gives you a diluted salute.
Loving and secure construction gathered from your bowels, solid and dry,
Firmly rooted, vital, alive, sensual,
I long to see you, impervious to pain, such a judge,
Unforgiving witness of my malcontent. Unwavering.
Somewhere to the south, mute witness of my peregrination,
Monumental devotee of what has been, silent critic of what is to come,
Your massive essence, in the jungle, melts away as only outlines,
A reminder and a remainder of some illusory buildings yet to come.
Steeped in the past, the outlines of history, such as they are,
An innocuously hidden pride, bearing the scars,
Three hundred years of tyranny, a colonial nightmare, a hundred years more,
Mindless nationalism, and now another hundred measure have gone by.
Disintegration of the civilities, the accords, nothing,
When I look at you, in my body I see you, beautiful and sad,
Aboriginal princess competing with history, auto-mutilated body,
Scarred: your symbols of endurance, strength, and sacrificial franchise.
Your scant outlines are the framework for the divine chaos,
Nature’s denial of the ages, the jungle’s solidity,
Clings to the ghostly outline, the jungle,
Teeming in death and life, the vision, erotic bride.