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  • Orpheus
  • Edimilson de Almeida Pereira
    Translated by Steven F. White


carnaval          belongs              to Saturdaywith stories about deadboxcars over the deadgrandfather

                        spirituals          on the Sedan record player          at 78 45 33 16                    rpm

carnaval          movesin a costumed thirst


the afternoon ripenshappiness of mangoes in the air                    hope doesn't

on the patiothe shadow of vigils

                    the absurd cat [End Page 1142] hair gives way to lifea swaying that can barely be seen

                    hope doesn't


the sea writes hard ideas

aimé césaire's réclamelearns from the islands

                    but before thatit registers the change from the          shift

blacks mexicans          asianswe all hearken to a past still alive          an intense rhythm          of gardens


          green stone            bird              and water

maternal paternal eternalgrandparents breathe to a chant

suddenly I know death              fingersscratch stone

                        the bird [End Page 1143]               the black              the blue        the redconverse    in    scales    waters


        a house branch        with no obstaclesin their dawn


the flag-bearer left                        love behindthe nerves of the lead samba dancerbut night reconciles them

        red awaits        ash wednesday

they're gone those murmurings the childhoodfriend                        far away

                    just like the rooster                        its phrasing

and the unprepared gatherers                of jasmine


carnaval on the cornerremembers the repast and the plague [End Page 1144]                     on the dayharlequin discovers                triangular            grandparents

                I searchThe ritual lines of the possessed

                and the samba on the zinc                gets tangled in its own song


        miracles arewhen        the shoe    encodes a samba                    that could last                perfect years

        or the innumerable plaza        so many centuries ago        from the days of aunt ciata        educating those with no sense of rhythm

on wednesday    those with red                        black                        and white facesthe shining pearl over the day

whatever is transported in the movement                of the flag-bearer                and the lead dancer [End Page 1145]



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pp. 1142-1145
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