CvK

The Gardens of Xochimilco

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Gardens and houses are not places,

but spin and go while apparitions

unfold in space another space,

and other times in time.

 

(We’d be scorched in the vitality

of a garden’s moment if it were

lived an eye-flick longer.)

 

A garden is not a place:

we enter by the russet path,

we enter a drop of water,

and drink at its centre

green clarities, we ascend

by the spiral of the hours

to the peak of day.

 

In Xochimilco the gardens flow

away to the deaf drum of blood,

the sun and the hammer, the green

embrace of vegetal arms.  The world

stands half open, and I glimpsed

the permanent brilliance.

 

The waters dazzle of bloodstained

stone, insect wings through cruel

and febrile light lighten the substance

of minerals and cacti, and quicksilver

lizards search the shade of adobe huts

in the bird-pierced space of Xochimilco