The Virus

My problem with this modern city
is not lack of silence, but that silence
is flawed. Less than perfect silence.
Just as the air is less than clear,
and the world in which I find myself
wants less than the perfect expression
of my capacity to give and take.

And what if the child is not a clone
of ourselves? What if she looks disdainfully
at the rows of books on the shelves,
and asks for car keys, cocaine, or Cairo?
I am dreaming, and it's a bad dream.
She cries from the next room, her fever
abating, the virus passing like flame
from the hurt that sears her veins.

The Stone Ballrooms of Earth

In your dreams, carrots push concentric
towers into the sky. The orchids
answer letters, open restaurants.
And how your very odd ideas
will be corroborated some evening
when the radishes turn their lights on!

What keeps coming back is your desire
to derange the periodic table
from within, to speak directly to
the radiant elements that are
dancing in the stone ballrooms of earth.

So far you have achieved three
literate rows of corn, and ruta-
begas that have begun to memorize
historical, award-winning dirt:
dirt that holds the Columbia back,
that invented wheat, that Charles
Darwin rubbed from his weary eyes
while he stood at the edge of the sea.

- Greg Simon

Widow of the Moon

Widow of the moon -
who could forget her?
She dreamed the earth
turned into crystal.

Furious and pale,
she hoped to sing the sea
to sleep, comb her hair
with cries of coral.

Her hair like spun glass -
who could forget it?
At her breast, the rims
of a hundred wells.

Tall jets of water
like battle-lances
guard her by the waves
of the tranquil dunes.

But the moon, the moon -
when will it return?
The curtains of wind
flutter ceaselessly.

Widow of the moon -
who could forget her?
She dreamed the earth
turned into crystal.

And you, Count Arnaldo,
how could we forget
your dream of the earth?
Crystal, all crystal.

- Federico Garcia Lorca,
Translated by Greg Simon