Back to Poetry - Salgado Maranhão - Alexis Levitin


Sea Drift by Salgado Maranhão Translated by Alexis Levitin


My eyes know the nakedness
of shadows
--where the weave of what’s been lived
finds its jagged slope. (Eyes,
false paths for gathering
vertigo. From them
the rites of love
release their swarms and they bleed
rubies on the crust of the poem.)

My eyes feed themselves
By weaving flames: one incites me
                                                   to the fray,
another banishes me to another other.

Or could it be a leaping into danger
in which all of life
takes shape within my pupils?)

What I do is flood myself
like desert stripping bare
before the sea.


Could it be the work of Eros
that has set the desert
there before us? Or

the thick foliage of plaited
paths to the mocking laughter
of a strumpet

Flames swell the heart
that juggler
facing days in reverse
gathered in the memory.

To find myself is the endless search
that stretches me beyond myself,
                                       the refuge,
in all that germinates
and groaning grows.

Life wants blood.