Odor and Gaze

The fine, secluded odor of your armpits

Heap-on-heap of straw crowns and fresh hay cut with fingers and asphodels and fresh skin and far off gallops like pearls

Your hair’s scent under the blue water with black fish and sea stars and sky stars under the infinite snow of your gaze

Your gaze of sea cucumber of whale of rain of diaries of suicides with wet eyes of your white coral branch gaze

Daytime sponge while the sea spits out sick whales and every staircase repulses its wayfarer like the plague-infected beast that inhabits the wanderer’s dreams

And sparkling blows to the temples and the wave that erases the sparks to leave on the tapestry the eternal question of your dead object’s gaze your putrid, flowery gaze

By César Moro
Translated from the Spanish by Esteban Quispe


Esteban Quispe is currently a student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, studying Modern Languages and specializing in Spanish and French.

César Moro (born Alfredo Quíspez Asín in 1903) was a Peruvian Surrealist poet who wrote in Spanish and French. He spent many years in Paris and in Mexico in connection with artists and poets such as Andre Breton, Leonora Carrington, Wolfgang Paalen, Benjamin Péret, Remedios Varo, Xavier Villaurrutia, etc. While in Mexico he wrote his best known collection of poetry, La tortuga ecuestre. He died in 1956.