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Erika L. Sanchez reads her poem "Saudade".


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Hi, I'm Erika L. Sanchez and I will be reading the poem "Saudade".  This poem began after a trip to Portugal about three years ago.  I was really enchanted by the term 'saudade' and they say it's something that is impossible to translate so this poem is an attempt to translate this term.


In the republic of flowers I studied
the secrets of hanging clothes I didn't
know if it was raining or someone
was frying eggs I held the skulls
of words that mean nothing you left
between the hour of the ox and the hour
of the rat I heard the sound of two
braids I watched it rain through
a mirror am I asking to be spared
or am I asking to be spread your body
smelled like cathedrals and I kept
your photo in a bottle of mezcal
semen-salt wolf's teeth you should have
touched my eyes until they blistered
kissed the skin of my instep for thousands
of years sealed honey never spoils
won't crystallize I saw myself snapping
a swan's neck I needed to air out
my eyes the droplets on the spiderweb
and the grace they held who gave me
permission to be this person to drag
my misfortune on this leash made of gold