Maya Islas


Poems from the

Book of Revelations.



Book # 1

The Seven Stars


Rev. 1:20

In my codes, people move like words retold.
Hear the hurt of my captivity
when the Island of Patmos
became the body of a woman.
John wanted to leave on earth
poems and horses,
knives cutting the reality of things,
but the silence,
bended and recessed,
left space between the stars,
breathing like a pounding heart
seen from beneath.
Since then,
I am waiting for the resurrection of the horses,
and the seven deaths
they will deliver.


Book # 2

The Unopened Book


Rev. 5:1

Air is the only thing I know:
bitter and shapeless;
wires push my freedom against the walls
when my glance fights
to find the house of salvation.
A book becomes Babylon,
and my arrow falls
unveiling the flesh of those
who return and melt
in front of the sun.


Book # 3

The Seals


Rev. 6:1

A line of dreams,
shattered heavens,
and deserts,
divides the soil.
I am the bride
who hides within this rhapsody of fingers,
crawling upon the windows of the eye
and the aloneness of the tongue.

The city perishes
and I have seen the holy place
among the books that measure
the wheat of revelation.

I cry more than ever
over this monument of mine
that rushes, as it is,
towards the dust.


Book # 4

The Angel and the Little Book


Rev. 10:2

It is the seventh day
and nakedness is violently breaking.
My flesh contains the voice of illusions
a thousand times.
I am the strength
that frames the eyes inside the angel's wing.

I have stopped breathing.


Book # 5

Sweet like Honey


Rev. 10:10

The woman,
who is the voice of the bird,
will inwardly appear
to nourish from whatever is left of time,
swallowing the rivers
in a glass of water.


Book # 6

Crown of Gold


Rev. 14:14

A thousand days will deliver
the dance of the earth.
Any warrior can see
this image in my eye
fading between the inner reflections of its neurons.
A golden thread has killed the song of John,
vertical and transparent
mystery hastes towards mercy
with that kind of smile
that comes forth from the face of a clown.


Book # 7

The Book of Life


Rev. 17:8

This is the day
that surely will serve the earth.
I hear the whirling sound of nails
thrown at my face,
but I,
the horsewoman,
rides with everlasting strength,
glancing at time,
scattered among the battles of the enemies.




Maya Islas

(Cabaiguan, Las Villas, Cuba) Published Sola...Desnuda...Sin nombre (1974); Sombras-Papel (1978); Altazora acompañando a Vicente (1989) and Merla (1991). Obtained in Barcelona a "Silver Carabel Award" in Poetry in 1978. She was a finalist for the"Juan Boscan" Prize, Spain,1978. Finalist of the "Letras de Oro" Poetry Award in 1986-87 with her book Altazora , and again in 1989-90 with her book Proyecto irreversible. Was awarded the Cintas Fellowship in 1990-91. Her book, Merla, received the "Latino Literature Prize" for published book from the Latin American Writers Institute of New York in 1993.

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