Jorge EsquincaMexicoWriting2009
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Flocks

 

I [M]

 

Birds pass darkly migrating out of sight,
sure in their way, living arrows for the austere heart of man.
Like a field dreaming, birds rise gloriously against the sky,
as morning brings its brightness.

Daughters of the bright will divide the day with the broad knife of their flight
And the vision surrender before the force of their unreachable embrace.

Patron women of air, tamers of sudden gusts, make out of intuition an assuredness:
your flight is forever a fulfilled oracle
and the dominion of your kingdom deciphers as the word
that desire whispers to the quiet deserts of heaven.

 

II [R]

 

And the morning, like a maid who has stayed by herself,
hangs its washing in that younger light
and so shows her body swept up by the shadow of several birds.

What does it divine, what looms in the swift imprint of the shadow?

“Hold on to the promise of exile in this gram of silence.
Far from your enduring flight, from your watch over the ruin
of every word: hold on to your fickle heart,
the dejection that hides in the thresholds of the rain.
Hold on, in the cup of your hands, to the living water
of this moment that the shadow erases
from the fiery blackboard of days.”

 

III [M]

 

Alone with the air!
Birds rise up like a procession of feathery girls, those radiant summits.
A sharp impulse of the heart drives its inner will and surrenders to them,
purified of judgments, to the maelstrom of flight.

Alone with the air!
And in the plenitude of flight I dismantle and seize the signs
that dawn leaves behind in the day’s dark rings under its eyes.
Packed throngs – notes, nails, silences, alterations,
murmuring stream where it contemplates the song.

Alone with the air!
What god flutters in the wind that disperses them?
What does the script of their flight say of permanence and lightning,
of tiny hands passed over water?
What foreshadows their sudden, disbanded sovereignty?

 

IV[R]

 

A reckless willfulness circulates in the blood of these divining birds.
A secret knowledge feeds the smile of the girl I love.
And the prodigal summer like her body offers itself so close to the touch…
And it is the summer that rinses with pure water her eyes where birds come to be blinded!
And my girl opens up like an open summer sea, and gathers to her bosom
the only word that will break the spell.
So the body of my girl is more certain than day!
And what I love is to see her sucking on an orange in the orchards,
the neighbors of my childhood
and so is the smell under her arms, the lightness of her small breasts,
the tone of her voice more smooth when she says the word…
So tall is my girl under the tree at the height of summer.
And only the man with a stranger’s soul will know
about the warmest provinces of her kingdom.

 

V [M]

 

Will God know of the destiny of those birds?
Perhaps His hand will bestow birdseed daily, give them shelter,
keep them safe from the falcon and help them to sleep?
Perhaps God determines their course with a fine compass of instinct
or He flourishes a rose of winds in their souls?
Does God know the journeys through night, of aerial navigation?

Does God sniff out storms?
Is God present in the cautious flight of these birds, in their candid chatter?

Is God in the sleeping girl’s bed at night,
is he there, sleeping too, between her legs,
nimble too, and grateful?

And the dawn almost calls out, the Clandestine lover leaves the bed unmade,
like a bird that, at the same moment, glides from the tree in search of large horizons.

 

VI [R]

 

Only the flight will redeem what is ready each night, when the migratory will
scatters seas over the world
with the fury of its invisible armada…
Hands wave farewells to the warrior with timid handkerchiefs.

(In the wake of the shipwreck, the compass will forever point to the heart)

And in the cities of the interior, we buy and sell with the fruits of tedium,
protected by walls and glass, surrounded by the first big rain of summer.
A flock passes through the thought and leaves behind a wake
open to new space where the sea is only light,
the ebb and flow, the patient work of waves that go something like a litany.
Celebration of the salt on the lips of the one who dreams with minerals
from an extraordinary transparency!
Celebration of the birds that descend to drink from the bowl of dawn!
Celebration, too, for the dark man in the humble bordello among whores
with nimble feet and eager throats!

(In the wake of the shipwreck, the compass will forever point to the heart)

Let us go…
There is a very simple song on their tongues, and in the east
a challenge to all these audacious birds.

 

VII [M]

 

Those days when we children opened wide the windows
and the smell of rain in the hills told us
of the imminence of summer vacation!

Light was the accomplice for sheets that dried carefree in the sun in the backyard –
Among the hearty laughter of young brown servant girls.

Despite the bustle, there was time to roll up our pants
and splash in the water in the flooded streets
And float newspaper boats that drifted away just before our childhood!

There was time in the afternoon for the afternoon to pass
and then – in the dark – to gather at the fence
and listen to riddles –
Oh that girl next door told them with a grace unmatched!

…Days when the road unfurled like a ribbon of mercury
along the bronze torso of summer
when my father stopped the car to show us, to our surprise:
the miraculous apparition of a flock of birds!

 

VIII [R]

 

Birds, young Sibyls, debate between passion for the airy prophesy
and the terrestrial night of the hospitable tree.
When instinct flares in their wings the impulse
toward those vast provinces of wandering.

Where does the path of these nomadic birds
of strong keels and well-tempered hearts end?
The flying of these birds fulfills the marvel of an ancient blindness.

 

IX [R]

 

The play of young girls under the tree at the height of summer…

My sisters, suckled on the sap of this sun,
swirl their skirts as they go around
and the early twirl of their laughter transports us,
amazed by the thought of their golden thighs,
with their promise to mature.
And the regal day crowns their brows with light sweat as they dance,
and the sole rhythm of their innocence
makes the heavens wheel.
My sisters: their hands clasped together, their agile waists –
like this they celebrate – in their pure childhood – the deep mystery
of the new blood that will descend unto them
from the secret heart of the world
like a visit from a dark god.
My sisters, young girls under the moon’s full dominion,
keep in their bosoms the wisdom of the tides
and the dark bearing of the flocks
in the migration of the song.

 

X [M]

 

The birds return and write the sign of their sovereign flight
in the docile water of noon.
It is the hour a small, stray boat drifts and the earth
calms its fires
and the wind flutters the set tablecloths
on the terraces of wonder.

Now the sole voice of a young girl could break the world’s mirror…

High towers, font, song of vertigo and its dominions; river
that passes through the orphaned splendor of sky, the violent
propeller thrashing the stones where morning settles
and simmers the hard seed of years.

Vast, so vast is the wheeling…

Birds whose permanence borders
the purest dream of men.