Ricardo Pau-Llosa


for Ismael Gómez Peralta, painter of Havana in ruins

Let not my son be remembered in any
stubborn way that wields or any ardor
that befalls. Let no trumpet
or banner like the sun signal him in strange

recollection. Instead, let the stories range
at will, distort his cunning and intent
that his image might become, like armor,
a shifting shell that meets whatever need.

In this veiling way, let his people
always be those who turn the molten
streets into paths a journey must understand.
Not those who rail but those who sigh and ripple

and so conjure fugues more lunatic than war
and live as rebels singing orders to order.

Ricardo Pau-Llosa

is the author of seven books of poetry; the latest, Man, published in 2014 by Carnegie Mellon U. Press, is his fifth title with the Press. He has new and forthcoming appearances in Hudson Review, december, American Poetry Review, Stand, Plume, and other literary magazines. He is also an art critic and curator.