Constellations Over The Hills Surrounding Santiago

his favorite constellation
was Aquilla tho' he
could never remember
whether the sky was
as such in spring or
autumn so each equinox
he hopped a plane to
Santiago and stood atop
hills cusping around the city
ignoring the sound and
car emissions and the reports
of missing children
on the news while
cattle lowed and rustled
softly standing in their sleep.

South America was not his novel

no that was high-rise in Manhattan
some evenings and a small flat
decorated with photocopied pages
of the Iliad in Athens.

Chile was the aside of his life
the poetry quoted by authors
in italics above their own digressions.

and there was the Columbian
revolutionary seeking refuge in
Santiago's finest hotel.
mountains enough
and alone more than enough
the Southern Cross was not
the portrait and the observatory
charted star paths.
one night he took all that
patriotic fervor and did not
dream of winters over the
Adriatic in Greece.
did not dream of falling asleep
in the Museum of Modern Art
city summers that are as lacking
air the desert and-such.

A feather fell to
the ground and it
was the glossy
burnish gold of a
bird of prey and in
profile he resembled an
eagle but Zeus
became a swan
so if anything such as
that were to occur

(the young revolutionary he is waiting nose against high glass in the fancy building the doorman polishing a gun to feed his children)

it would
there.

Money for plane
Tickets back to Athens and
That spring in New York. He
Would leave his eyes on
The mountains over
Santiago and his
Heart bleeding on the pillow
There is all
That and to get
Back to what was written away
From quoting Horace
Or Homer

He was not at home in Chile which was the most important thing
Aquilla riding Southern currents

Mira Hacia las Estrellas