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This poem is taken from PN Review 214, Volume 40 Number 2, November - December 2013.

Personajes: Poems after Remedios Varo Lesley Saunders
1. Orinoco

Exploración de las fuentes del río Orinoco
(oil on canvas, 1959)

Where does the self come from, with its soft hoods
and closed buttonholes?  
Of what slubs and gabardines is it made?
Whose are its afternoons, those up-rivers paddled
by anxiety and boredom in the same measure,
whose little winged ship
in a forest of cut-out wishes?

Some of my selves, sombre and intrepid,
feel neither hunger nor thirst;
I do not know their names. They have gone on
without me.
Some of them are embroidered bowls
meekly appearing on every ledge of my palace
like cupped hands.  

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