V. Woolf Drunk and Lost in Santiago, Chile

Numbness and worn-out boots: having walked
many miles through this hateful city,
a crown of light on Cerro San Cristobal,
no memory of hollowness, just the gin crust
on her eyes. In this hour, there are no stars.
Cars, street lamps, neon business hellos,
the murderous Estadio Nacional—they all outshine
the Southern Cross. She steps over a sleeping prostitute,
the poor thing’s mouth open like the flap
of a tent, curled in the slick trash of hydrophobic gutters.
Como se llegue a Santa Lucia?
The castle. Imagine the books of that ecclesiastical,
grand library before the militia took them. Imagine
the immaculate dresses, the stiff trousers, goblets forgotten.
It is here she parts pigeons in their congregation,
posits a small coin in the fountain.
She sees her reflection, and fails to fall in love.