by Susan Ayres
A cento in homage to Pablo Neruda
Between lips and lips there are cities
related through a thousand years
and a lurch of objects calling without answers,
navigating on a water of origin and ash.
You keep watch over the sea like a thief.
Slow play of lights, solitary bell.
The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish
and the walls have a sad crocodile color.
My various faces press themselves in and lock
the petrified plant, the inflexible garland.
I greet it with a doubtful laugh.
Who ever made a ritual of cinders?
*Note: This cento is made up of lines gathered from Neruda: Selected Poems (English and Spanish Edition) edited by Anthony Kerrigan and Nathaniel Tarn.
Susan Ayres writes and teaches in Fort Worth, Texas. Her poems have been published in descant, Kalliope, Texas Review, Borderlands, and other journals.