He creates a world out of fresh river mud, this river
plate shining brown. Home, where river meant death
fish, polluted islands of waste, naked children bathing
in spite of red signs ‘No bañarse’. Universe of landings,
riverbanks where taluhet, chechehet, diuihet indians
waited in silence to strike. I played there against currents.
Once from a big plane I saw the mouth of Quilmes river
eating spewed sand, barro to mould my arrival from winter.
Crossing a patch of pampa fields where low houses grow
year after year, out of thin cardboard, tin roofs reflecting
an ever bigger sun. This river I see in dreams flows south,
I swim in it under a blue-white Alpha Crucis, descending
slowly to its depth. I float alongside rafts of water
hyacinths, otters, yararas clinging on until disembarking.
An effigy of mud to light candles, praying for a return
that never happened. My grandfather whistling tangos
from another era, lying dead near his small well kept garden
my signed book on his breast. Photos of an unknown land
to me, born and bread argentino, from tiny silver threads
linking me to barrios, calles, asados. I see this river now,
flowing faster from its source, cycle of life, my own
río de la plata. Swimming downstream.