The unmoving sea
released from its own jawbones
exhales a new soul.

It has no bottom,
shipwrecks, souls,
in seaweed.

The newborn
pallid face
of God
is watching.

Vessels have not writ upon it.
Men have not deciphered it.
Fish have yet to tire of it.

The sun sinks
to search it,
plunging into flames
between the violet forests,
and touches its face
to open golden doors
spreading into—tunnels—
undiscovered spaces.

Slow steps descend
to the water
and arrive, already vanished,
at my feet.

By these I will ascend
until the day
that I commit myself
beyond horizon.

Walls of water
will have wooed me
in that resplendent

By Alfonsina Storni
translated, from the Spanish, by Meghan Flaherty

Meghan Flaherty is an MFA candidate in Nonfiction and Literary Translation at Columbia. She is currently working on a book-length personal history of Argentine tango.

Alfonsina Storni is both the Dorothy Parker and the Virginia Woolf of Argentina. Her work is acid, stark, and melancholic, sometimes masked in singsong rhyme, and often brimming with a strident feminism decades beyond her time. In 1938, she walked into the sea, ending her life.