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City Woman

April 18, 1993|KYRA GALVAN

For me the country

is a distant reality.

I can't even disguise its distance

when love goes away.

I don't pretend to go all soft at the sight of a plowed field

because my hands don't feel the earth.

The only beehives I know are made of steel.

Here you sink in the violence of an instant

and don't worry

about them giving or taking away from your land.

Here you are dispossessed

and belong to the nothing of nobody.

You don't believe in the prefabricated rain

falling from who knows what modern


We run from one building to another and the sky

says no the whole time. Love says no too.

And in the blink of an eye

you learn and unlearn the rites of asphalt.

You return to explore the innumerable islands,

expert conductor of cutoff conversations.

You have no land.

You ought to court the concrete, but

you have no connection with anything--how could you?

No. The country and love never begin.

And you know

that the myths of the city continue without a break.

From "Mouth to Mouth: Poems by Twelve Contemporary Mexican Women" (Milkweed Editions: $14.95; 233 pp.). This poem was translated by W.S. Merwin.

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