Alicia Torres

Born 1960 in Caracas.  Studied literature; poet, essayist and translator.  Has lived in London and India. Researcher at the Museo de Arte Contemporannea de Caracas. Loneliness, sometimes desolation, surrounds the meditations of the personae in her book  Fatal,1989. Other books of poems include; Consideración de la rosa (Consideration of the Rose), 2000.

Spanish Text


Sometimes I toy with the idea of killing you
(after all, my darling,
no one is innocent)
and then I think of ancient priests
bedecked in white linen and gold,
incense on its way to the heavens,
the rigor of whetted obsidian
on nights when the moon is waning,
a bared breast,
the taut and well-aimed swiftness
of a hand trained to the dagger,
the gods' pleasure,
the satisfaction of duty done.
And there is order again in the world,
rain spills on to the fields,
wind fills the Achaean sails
and the earth is fertile once more;
but then you approach, my darling,
with open arms
and I smile guiltily
kissing your throat,
your wrists, your temples.
Vulnerable life, where it throbs.



I'll smear myself with oils from the Levant
scent myself with heliotrope
so that my skin
will be delicious to the touch
a treat for the wanton hands where I seek myself.
Look well at me:
silk between my thighs
malachite on my temples
polished lapis lazuli on my wrists.
Perfect simulation
of the clamor of the senses
so as not to hear you
so as not to wait on you
melancholy Galilean
as you tame stones
asking for my soul.
at bottom we are the same,
we belong to everyone
and to no one.
Watch, then, how I spit
on your open hand,
stainless dove,
denying you the rag of empty air
you ask me for.
Look, seducer, how I pay you
in your own coin.



High August
and a blue so absolute
it commits all of me.

High August
and the blue void I am
in this morning of the senses.

Blue August
where there is nothing more
than a sovereign vastness

where nothing is left
but color
and delight.

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