A dying moth
Lights a flame
Then enters it to burn
Like the conquistadores
Who would not forget
Hallucinations of gold
Entering again and again
The hopeless passage across the Chaco
Where malaria, arrows, heat, hunger
Accosted their dreams, and left their tongues
Blacker than hell, and their souls more bitter
Than poisonous xerophytes
Ah, but what is better to do?
Sit and live a torpid life,
Like a frog on a stone, never jumping,
Pig in a box, drearily moping?
Spasms of hope, vague restlessness,
Need to justify something within,
Knowing your wickedness, your deep lies,
Banging rocks because you left your mothers.
Now you dream, of what, unclear
But life rolls on, families love,
And die; sometimes you grow palmito, at others
You work in banks, like everyone else,
Or you pursue carnal delights
With little guilt, and less restraint.
Some of your streets are very cobbled,
Others dusty, and bars seldom close,
Your ancient buses spew pollution,
And rack the buildings with giant noises;
Some houses, with their white porticos
Are beautiful, especially at night.
Las Paraguayas reign supreme
In beauty, and shapeliness:
Wonderfully kind, friendly angels,
They have been my sisters here,
I swear. Because of them
I beat off loneliness, which settles down
Like a dark blanket on anyone
Eventually. I am not good,
I know; but I try to fly
In the best winds with my wings.