He has seen the palm trees of his plaza
almost at dawn or when the shadow
falls and he has crossed
– always on the diagonal – at noon.
Those palm trees, those wide streets –
through which the step knots
its rapid stitches –
are they, perhaps, not his?
Better the reverse: he is theirs
and now he finds it out.
Them: he is one with them
the wanderer and the way.
Circe Maia was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1932, but she has lived most of her life in the northern city of Tacuarembó. Her collected poems Circe Maia: Obra poética was published in Uruguay in 2011. Invisible Bridge/ El puente invisible: Selected Poems of Circe Maia, a bilingual edition of her work with translations by Jesse Lee Kercheval is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press.
Jesse Lee Kercheval is the author of 14 books of poetry, fiction and memoir. Her translations of the Uruguayan poet Circe Maia have appeared in The New Yorker and American Poetry Review; the University of Pittsburgh Press will publish Invisible Bridge/ El puente invisible: Selected Poems of Circe Maia in 2015. She is also the editor of América invertida: an anthology of younger Uruguayan poets which is forthcoming from the University of New Mexico Press.