Asleep You Become a Continent
asleep you become a continent—
undiscovered, mysterious, long,
your legs mountain ranges
encircling valleys, ravines
night slips past your eyelids,
your breath the swaying of the sea,
sprawled across the bed like
a dolphin washed ashore, your mouth
is the mouth of a sated volcano,
O fragrant timber, how do you burn?
you are so near, and yet so far
as you doze like a lily at my side,
I undo myself and invoke the moon—
I’m a dog watching over your sleep
Francisco X. Alarcón, “Asleep You Become a Continent” from Glow of Our Sweat by Francisco Aragón. Translation by Francisco Aragón. Used by permission of the translator.