After the Seventh Day, Paradise

David Anuar

Translated from the Spanish by Susan Ayres


In the Beginning the sand forged the script of the coasts.  Before man and his limits, the clast spirit burbled over the imagined face of Pangea, envisioning a mineral ocean of protozoa.  The salt sketched continents and clashed with the sea, in the chalky back and forth of the shore.


They Appeared out of the Blue
like mahogany of another time
flowing down the unhurried Hondo River

they arrived to establish
———woods of discord

with one voice they sowed hollows
blue mosaics of bathers
and the clarity of contained water

———with one voice they exclaimed:
——————“Let there be swimming pools”


I Come from the Memory of a Banker
of the thousand United States
and the republic of Adams
chicle bricks, illusions and a Decauville line

I am a remnant of human weed
a migrant suffocated in the tides
ultimate Thule of opportunism . . .


We Tend to Count the Flocks of Water
in the come and go of crabs

the shimmer of their routes
———schedules of memory
check-in and check-out
sea-time of our life
in a state of constant navigation


Cube or Rectangular Prism
testing geometry
of the journey and its repose

cube or rectangular prism
grafted between the clouds
and the root of sand

methodically grafted
on the back
of the snail and the seagull

methodically replicated
time and again
over the skin of the island

we have seen
emerging from the sea or sky
from the woods beyond the border
swarms of concrete

an arm of sand


He Bit the Fruit
our sown land
in a fish and fries dish
and he drank the shoals
with a golden cerveza smile

he screwed my wife
my mother
my mother’s mother
all the spirits of the sand

oh girl!
———oh boy!
——————oh whatever!
you know what I love!


my heart
mute with pyramids and stelas
nest of vipers splintered by your lyrical voice
closed its eyes and imagined there were dolphins, macaws,
crocodiles, jaguars, the night like obsidian, stars remembering glyphs

Oh, my pretty land-girl, where have we gone?


The Hands Built
the bar, the lobby, the swimming pool
the habitation
the work of my hunger
of a sleeping Sunday
break-king the waves
of your dollar lashes

wasn’t it also written
in my heart
that you will rest one day
the wounds of your blood?

my hands are the pleasure
of your brothers and sisters
and I lie exhausted to clean
the bones of my father
the tomb of my sons

no one really cares
you has-been, sweet song mumbled
by the enormous department
of Human Corpses
and Material Resources:

in the seventh day
nothing really happened
and my ulcerated hands . . .
no one really cares


A los siete días fue el paraíso


En el principio la arena fundó la escritura de las costas. Antes del hombre y sus confines, el espíritu clasto burbujeaba sobre la imaginada faz de Pangea. Sospechaba un océano mineral de protozoarios. La sal dibujó continentes, y desdijo la mar, en el calcáreo vaivén de la playa.


llegaron de la nada
como caoba de otro tiempo
arriada por la lentitud del Hondo

llegaron a erigir
———árboles de discordia

a una voz sembraron orificios
mosaicos azules de bañistas
y la claridad del agua contenida

———a una voz exclamaron:
——————“háganse las albercas”


vengo de la memoria de un banquero
de los mil estados unidos
y de las chicleras repúblicas
decauville de espejismos y marquetas

soy hierbajo humano
migrante asfixia de mareas
última Tule del oportunismo…


solíamos contar los rebaños del agua
en el vaivén de los cangrejos

el rielar de sus itinerarios
———schedules de lembranza
check-in y check-out
temporar de la vida nuestra
en estado de marear


cubo o prisma rectangular
ensayada geometría
del viaje y su reposo

cubo o prisma rectangular
injerto entre las nubes
y la raíz de arena

metódicamente injerto
en el lomo
del caracol y la gaviota

metódicamente replicado
una y otra vez
sobre el pellejo de la isla

hemos visto
surgir del mar o del cielo
de la selva o más allá
de la frontera
enjambres de cemento
a la deriva
un brazo de arena
que se troza


mordió la fruta
la sementera nuestra
in a fish and fries dish
y bebió los cardúmenes
with a golden cerveza smile

fornicó a mi esposa
con mi madre
con la madre de mi madre
todos los espíritus de arena

oh girl!
———oh boy!
oh whatever!
you know what I love!


mi corazón
mudo de pirámides y estelas
nido de serpientes astillado by your lyrical voice
cerró los ojos y creyó vislumbrar delfines, guacamayos,
cocodrilos, jaguares, la noche como silicio, estrella de glifo memorar

Oh, my pretty land-girl, where have we gone?

las manos construyen
el bar, el lobby, la swimming pool
la habitación
el trabajo de mi hambre
of a sleeping Sunday
break-king the waves
of your dollar lashes

¿no fue también escrito
en mi corazón
descansarás un día
la llaga de tu sangre?

mis manos son el pleasure
of your brothers and sisters
y yago exhausto para lavar
los huesos de mi padre
la tumba de mis hijos

no one really cares
ha sido la sweet song mumbled
by el descomunal departamento
de Cadáveres Humanos
y Recursos Materiales:

in the seventh day
nothing really happened
y mis manos ulceradas…
no one really cares


Translator’s Note:

The poem “After the Seventh Day, Paradise” presents a visionary and critical view of the history of Cancun, and more generally, the State of Quintana Roo.  Some challenges in translating the poem were the cultural and historical allusions to the logging industry, the production of chicle and chewing gum, and the creation of Cancun as a tourist resort only fifty years ago.  Anuar weaves into the poem a natural history, as well as references to Maya civilization and mythology.  As the poem develops, the lyrical voice mixes in English phrases, including the refrain, “no one really cares.

Part III:  Decauville was a narrow-gauge steam engine that ran in the Yucatan from 1905-1932
2. Part III: Ultimate Thule refers to the ancient concept of the farthest reaches known to man.
3. Parts IV-VII:  Italicized words are in English in the original.

A native of Quintana Roo, David Anuar is a historian and one of the premier Yucatecan writers working today.  His published volumes of poetry include Erogramas (2011, Literary Catharsis El Drenaje), Log of the Time that Elapses (2015, City of Mérida), and Estrellas Errantes (2016, UAEM).  Anuar has also published essays, short stories, and anthologies.  He is a member of the Editorial Committee of Anthropological Issues and the Editorial Board of Tropo a La Uña, Pliego 16 and Cracken. Fanzine from the Caribbean.

A native of Texas, Susan Ayres translates from the Spanish, and has published poetry in The Texas Review, Sycamore Review, Cimarron Review, and others.  She is Professor of Law at Texas A&M University, and has published scholarly articles on law and culture in many journals.  Her profile is available at


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