Home > Poetry > Altos de Chavon (I)
Maggie Dietz
Published: Tue Apr 15 2003
Art: Paul TheriaultEver New (detail), 2022, acrylic and found paper on scavenged wood
Altos de Chavon (I)

Light crested as the leaves moved from
green to green, like breathing.

From the roof: jungle, cane and sea
moved to the rhythms of wind, sickle
and tide—various bodies.

None more naked than the pink,
transparent lizards whose entire workings—
gut, muscle and vein—were visible to
the naked eye as they climbed the walls
visible through them.

Evenings, music and the hard-
working moon—so many chinks and spaces
through which to make patterns.

Bodies moved together in patterns
toward nakedness.

Beneath us, the cats brawled, fucked,
and cried like babies, cried so high and deep
the music couldn’t drown them out.

Now and then, a mango fell with a thud
or a giant moth made shapes against the flames.

The elements were welcome. Not one
thing did not hunger to be changed.
The heat ran like a river between us all.

See what's inside AGNI 57

The second book of poems by Maggie Dietz is That Kind of Happy (University of Chicago Press, 2015). She is also the author of Perennial Fall (Chicago, 2006) and co-editor of three anthologies related to her longtime work on the Favorite Poem Project. More recent poems appear in Harvard Review, Salamagundi, and Ploughshares. She has taught undergraduate workshops at Boston University and now teaches at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. (updated 10/2015)

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