Ricardo Pau-Llosa

June 9, 2013 Pau-Llosa Ricardo




            after the painting “Thetis (Aquarium)” by Robaldo Rodríguez


We see her through her element, not

in it, a face of harvest and sand gazing

upon a crypt of waters, fish jotting

the tight firmament.  The water bends

her to fill this pane and tints her face

into nature.  She ignores these mere effects,

dragged inward by the pull of another tide,

welcoming the nobody she finds there at rest,

as a creature of bright scales finds respite

in crevices where her lights are blind.

Glints weave paths across the face and tank

to mark the painting’s solitary and troubled link

to the instant, for a goddess needs no shield from time.

Her son, it’s true, has cast his fate with might.

Ricardo Pau-Llosa’s eighth book of poems will be released in the fall of 2018 by his longtime publisher, Carnegie Mellon U Press. His most recent book is Man (2014). He has also published extensively on the visual arts, especially modern Latin American painting and sculpture.