The Marlboro Review Issue 13 Winter / Spring 2002

Baroque Song for Severo Sarduy

Virgil Suarez

I can tell you the singers come from the hills
to the valley in search of the missing word,
this broken mirror of sea between the earth
and the sky. One look at the surface and you

succumb to, the horror vacui of its depth—
voices of the lost, driven to water in the night.
This is your song Severo, a transvestites
use of darkness-shadow consumption, fetish,

the way a river will carve "Ss" into valleys,
a hollow scar-- "por las tardes me viene de repente
bruscos deseos de volver a casa
." When you come
home, there will be a candle on the windowsill,

call it a cucuyo beacon, this glow that lures
you in the right direction. Nocturnal body,
come home, rest here on the straw mat
by the door. Camagüey remembers your name.

It is spoken here where birds sit atop palms.
If you listen carefully, the wind carries memory
out to your lips, your hands, your body afloat
in the blue distance, right where your eyes shine.

Virgil Suarez is the author of four novels, five collections of poetry and two memoirs. His essays, stories, poems and translations appear both nationally and internationally in journals such as TriQuarterly, Salmagundi, Chelsea and many others. He is a professor of creative writing at The Florida State University.

Copyright ©2002 Virgil Suarez

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