SOLE / MARE                                                        

Mare Nostrum, Costa Nostra

No Mary but the dark-skinned Shulamite of Abyssinia

on a holy raft

Craven and Aghast.

Now it is September,

the fates of people drowning in the sea

keep no calendar,

a diary written with the salted tongue

upon a body, dousing and famished like a monk,

here where celibacy and conception are made

Improbable.

And their drowning sum, driven by treasuries

Ministries of Culture and Plastic Surgery

give press conferences to the birds,

a flamingo bird soars overhead with a twig of sugarcane

in its talons, vision as if to warn those rafters

of another route once taken, to more Westwards fairy-lands.

Speculation: more ironic is the harm

done by the irony that lives in between

the chatter than what falls

between the ships

and the moving rubber cylinders of floats

heavier than unleaded gasoline

meant to supervise those destitute

by the land, the sea

the salt that constructs its own castle,

its terra firma in the body of the drinker

rid of wine and made sober by light and stars and not a curtain for miles

 

***

Arturo Desimone, Arubian-Argentinian writer and visual artist, was born in 1984 on the island Aruba which he inhabited until the age of 22, when he emigrated to the Netherlands. He relocated to Argentina while working on a long fiction project about childhoods, diasporas, islands and religion. Desimone’s articles, poetry and fiction pieces have previously appeared in CounterPunch, Círculo de Poesía (Spanish) Acentos Review, New Orleans Review, in the Latin American views section of OpenDemocracy and he writes a blog about Latin American poetry  for the Drunken Boat poetry review.

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