Old San Juan


So let me suckle on the
Sun-baked breast that was
This day and pour
Its glory over my head
With the baptismal sea
Til I can't see a thing

Let it all come now
The old woman with withered hand gripping
The wilted cane by the weathered church
The young girl shy and sly by the shore
The lovers lost in a moment we cannot penetrate
The hungry doves that do not ask but wait for a kindness
The reluctant pilgrim pushing onward
The relentless lullaby of the waves
The prodigal stranger in his native womb

Ancestral bones lying by the waves
Let this all come
Absolve me of the
Life-drenched-light-stained collar
That gives pause to the jealous night
Then Lord, let it pass

--Guillermo Veloso


by Bohan Liu