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My body, a city,
my eyes, its cantonments.
In them the eternal vigilance
of watchful sentries.
A railway station between
my ears: there the unceasing tumult
of crowds that wait for
a mate or a prey and
fall asleep, tired: folks who
always miss their trains,
orphaned thoughts gone astray,
memories lost between
the chiming of bells and
the whistles of the wagons,
fire-filled dreams that pant
and wait for their green signals.
My veins are rivers, noisy
with anklets, my nerves, wires
that carry music and light.
My entrails are streets busy with traffic.

The four chambers of my heart:
one, a prison, dark
with the solitude of the dead;
one, a church, pale with sterile prayers;
one, a hospital, red with the
groans of the ailing, and
the odours of drugs;
one, a courtroom, blue with its
prolonged trials and neutral judgments.

How shall I describe the
port of my nose where
scents unfold their sails,
the untiring mills of my teeth
that grind the harshest of griefs,
the market of my tongue
full of noises and flavours,
the observatory of my skin
that records every change of season
in its language of signs,
the garden of my hairs
where the sun never rises,
the towers of my legs
brimming with stilled dances,
the office of my hands
peopled with clerks and files,
the sleepless factories of my glands
and the busy junctions of my joints?

In this city are the cries of birth
and the groans of death,
the temptings of the pimp
and the gospels of the saint,
the bargaining of the merchant
and the detachment of the monk,
caged forests and chained springs,
clouds that rain at a touch
and cuckoos concealed in mother-of-pearl,
the wounds of departures
and the wonders of arrivals,
the inns of kisses
and the zoos of emotions.

when you burn this body,
you are burning a city.
when you bury this body
you are burying a people.