Ghazal for a Marginal Sea
My father brought us belts of hide and worthless coins his first time in the country named for silver.
Shipwrecked mariners’ stories powered European sails, vessels drawn as if by siren song towards the veins of silver.
Mendoza – too far south for guayacán – stayed in his room, syphilitic body weeping liquid silver.
At Potosí, ten lives for every peso struck. On both sides of the ocean men consumed by silver.
To be a mother, birth a thing of hope to fathom it half-grown, unclaimable in silver.
Once, its silt-slick mouth was as a heliograph. I’d thought to leave; even the clouds combed clean of silver.
Mar Dulce, Río de Solís or widest river in the world I name you home, dare to dream of singing you with tongue of silver.