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This poem is taken from PN Review 263, Volume 48 Number 3, January - February 2022.

Thirteen Poems Armando Uribe
Translated from the Chilean Spanish by Neil Davidson

From Los obstáculos (1961)

Ruffled nightingale, rising
from earth to sing in the tree
and use it as your lyre, I dare you
to sing upon a stone, like me.


I have no background in farming
or garlands of daisies.
I was born on a white sheet
and weaned in a darkened room.


What is others’ becomes ours
like well-worn shoes. Loneliness
buffs them to mauve, to lilac. Bare
soles of the feet, the walker’s
bare thighs, fingers, nails, polished
teeth, damp lustrous hair!...
Yet – fatty food, rank

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