Matter, mother, Maria
Names that come from the beginning
With tractor or dragged plow
or pick, shovel, spade, hoe,
black, reddish, parched, mud-caked,
the earth is hard to break.
Men labor over it as over a woman
virgin even after giving birth, laboring
as on a sea whose waves close
above him—foam, blossom—as men work
on a word, which, after fruiting
returns stubbornly to the silence of origins.
Translated from the Spanish by Kathleen Weaver