Song of the Encantado1 min read


Jeremy Paden
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Do not stare into the blind eyes
of the pink-fleshed singing porpoise.

You have stared down the dancing snake
but the eyes your eyes followed as they swayed
were filled with moonlight, & the song of the split —
tongue is of the earth & is a forest song
that winds about the roots of the kapok tree.

Do not stare into the blind eyes
of the singing river dolphin.

They are filled with a brightness you think
is life but is the dimness of deep rivers,
of dreams filled with the promise of a pleasure
only gods can give, & you are a child
of grass & forest, of flowers & their fruit.

Do not stare into the blind eyes
of the boto cor de rosa.

The world will turn gray & your eyes & mouth & skin
will long only for the heaviness of rivers,
& you will call eels & angel catfish cousin
& the dense song of the manatee
will blind you to the wonders of the forest.


  • Jeremy Paden

    Jeremy Paden is the author of a chapbook of poems, Broken Tulips (Accents Press, 2013). His poems and translations have appeared in Asymptote, Adirondack Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, California Quarterly, Cortland Review, Drunken Boat, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, and Rattle, among other journals and anthologies. He is a member of the Affrilachian Poets, an Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature at Transylvania University, and teaches literary translation in Spalding’s low-residency MFA.

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