comes from the mouth
not from those skinny books I brought.
Who has time for books? I witness
la touristas, the herd I think, but I am
among them, of them, inescapably.
What is more foreign than the I of this
other world? Cuánto debo? What
is it I owe you? You who know
the language of ancient Conquests.
Not the colloquy of the islands,
the pure quetzal fluttering of speech
found under dark archways
in Uxmal, the Governor’s Palace,
that language that could only be
shared with one you had to become.
It’s the olivdé, the I forgot. This
Spanish is the rain, the jungle heat,
shadows cast by a wide Sombrero
across a dark face. The parrot fish
off Garrafón are a forgotten tongue
for la tourista. The cameras snap
indelible greens bleached by the sea
into unbelievable. I desire that other.
Quiero quedar otra, within you
as within the well of the night, its cenoté,
spliced together to form my self
out of that absence, to stay with you
til morning in that never foreign place,
forgotten or only just remembering
at last, the luxuriant flora of your jungle.
George Moore has published poetry in The
Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, North American Review, Orion, Colorado
Review, Nimrod, Meridian, Chelsea, Southern Poetry Review,
Southwest Review, and Chariton Review; and was a finalist
for the 2007 Richard Snyder Memorial Prize, from Ashland Poetry
Press, and earlier for The National Poetry Series, The Brittingham
Poetry Award, and the Anhinga Poetry Prize. He has three collections
in print, the most recent, Headhunting (Edwin Mellen, 2002),
is a travelogue of ritual practices of love and possession.
He's recently become the managing editor or Poets Chapbooks
(.com), and teaches with the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Most recent is work in collaboration with a number of artists
internationally, both in Spain in 2007 where he did an installation
at Can Serrat, outside Barcelona, and another planned for
Skagaströnd, Iceland, as well as a reading in Portugal,
both in 2009.