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
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.