I. Copiapó
II. Last Song for Copiapó

Further south in lands beyond and not yet conquered
more of this sun sweat

Why else would a man force his horse to cross a desert
press on through the white winds

Slaves and soldiers dying frozen
Toes and fingers swelling black

Bodies sliding into slumber as they stop to catch a breath
to rest on boulders by the way

Elusive City of the Caesars bright horizon

Not this slender valley green-streaked with trees
where men farm aquamarine stone from alluvial fans

Where a slow burn fed by breath and dung-chips
fires the rock until the burst of blue flame

until the copper bubbles out

Last Song for Copiapó

A great and mighty shouting
will go out through the land

another mine

banners hung high
for the boys below

children wives mothers
friends mistresses all

as before so again

the yellow plastic tents
the calves fattened

los treinta y tres brought
back home

sobered up

Hollywood in post-production
the world back about its business

novelists poets playwrights
already having written

and another mine

and only Copiapó
JEREMY DAE PADEN teaches Spanish and Latin American literature at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. He is a member of the Affrilachian Poets. His poems have appeared in the Atlanta Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cortland Review, Louisville Review, and other journals and anthologies. His chapbook "Broken Tulips" is forthcoming with Accents Publishing.