Your two green eyes on me are as intense
as absinthe, and their glow like emeralds. I’d guess
that burning themthey’d have the pungent smell of incense.

And to me your eyelashes possess the quite
bizarre and bitter power of the thistle or of parasites,
that in order to avoid your eyes I’d sacrifice my sight.

But your eyelids hold such flowery perfume,
that they breed inside my mind the bastard’s doom
of drinking absinthe, and the thrust into the thistle’s womb.

 

[Translated from the Spanish by Rigoberto González]

The poet and playwright Salvador Novo (1904-1974) is considered one of Mexico’s most versatile 20th century writers. His publications of note include the gay memoir Estatua de sal, and Historia gastronómica de México, essays on the Mexican culinary art.

Rigoberto González has written So Often the Pitcher Goes to Water until It Breaks, a National Poetry Series selection, Soledad Sigh-Sighs, a children’s book, and Crossing Vines, winner of ForeWord Magazine’s Fiction Book of the Year Award. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and of various international artist residencies, he has four titles forthcoming: Antonio’s Card, a children’s book, Butterfly Boy, a memoir, Other Fugitives and Other Strangers, poetry, and a biography of Chicano writer Tomás Rivera. He writes a monthly Latino book column for the El Paso Times of Texas and is the poetry editor of Swink Magazine.

At Guernica, we’ve spent the last 13 years producing uncompromising journalism. 

More than 80% of our finances come from readers like you. And we’re constantly working to produce a magazine that deserves you—a magazine that is a platform for ideas fostering justice, equality, and civic action.

If you value Guernica’s role in this era of obfuscation, please donate.

Help us stay in the fight by giving here.