A Cloak of Stars (for Orlando)

17 Septiembre 2001

A poem for Orlando Letelier.

TNI and the Pinochet precedent


Many things

honeysuckle in the alley

passionfruit in the sideyard

the bamboo,


I open with you.

The first strawberries I tasted,

the wonder of

learning how to sip the nectar from blossoms



The safe green growing of summer


melting into,

late afternoon hide and seek

water and shadows,

wind picking up

red dark coming, blue

jasmine night blooming


ladybugs and golden cricket song

In my wish for endless

moon and nightsong,

I fly towards you

knowing you burn my wings and

change me.

I want to shed you like a rattlesnake

in hot and dusty chaparral

a skin which feels so smooth

it bits and stings deeply.

I want to eat you

like a Delaware peach bought

from a wooden bin on highway 50,

sing you like an elusive

summer song finally remembered,

like quena pipes heard

in Andean villages,

wear you like a cloak of stars

and grandfather stories.