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This poem is taken from PN Review 143, Volume 28 Number 3, January - February 2002.

Prose Poems (translated by Jim O'Connor) Dulce María Loynaz
I

God, the babes you sent are here now, flapping their wings above my head.
     I cling to them by a thread of blood, but it's about to snap. And being plunged in darkness I still can't see them, but I believe there are many, and some are beautiful and deserve to live.
     Look here, Lord. I can't feed them all with this meagre blood of mine, and like any mother who fears losing her child - though she never may have wanted it and though it may bring her nothing but grief - I don't want a single one to die.
     God, grant this sterile mother a star to breastfeed her children.
     And since I've forgotten how to sew, give me, just for them, a dress made of lilies.


II


I cast my word on the wind without keys and without veils.
     It is not a coffer for the things we covet. And it is not a flirt trying to be more beautiful than she is.
     I cast my word on the wind so everyone might see it, feel it, squeeze it, or bleed it white
     There is nothing in it that is not I myself, and my wisdom, if I have any, lies in my wearing it not like a shawl, but like a sackcloth.


III


A man creates a noble, lasting work of art worthy of the heavens by descending into darkness, by sipping its eternal springs one drop at a time.
     Pleasant is the air, and pleasant the light, but not everything can bloom, and he who fails to sow his soul in the earth will come to watch it wither.


IV


Body and soul, I always had my way.
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