The Jungle Aflame

Translated by George McWhirter

The saffron skies resemble tropical Turners.
The dancing palms are kissed by voracious tongues.
The howler monkeys leap from crest to crest.
Through the billows of smoke, companies of parrots
with singed tails go searching for the sun
that watches them covertly, like a putrid eye.

Selva Ardiendo

Los cielos amarillos parecen Turners tropicales.
Las palmeras danzantes son besadas por lenguas voraces.
Los monos aulladores saltan de copa en copa.
A través de las humaredas, bandadas de loros,
Con las colas quemadas, van buscando al sol,
que los mira oculto, como un ojo podrido. 

By Homero Aridjis, translated by George McWhirter, from SELF-PORTRAIT IN THE ZONE OF SILENCE, copyright © 2023 by Homero Aridjis. Copyright © 2023 by George McWhirter. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.