Listen: in the left wrist, the pulse.
Cowbell, cuíca, berimbau: complicated instruments of a complicated past. Bent stick, slack wire, small coin.

Listen: When Pero Vaz de Caminha discovered that Brazil was a lush and fertile land …

sirs and madams
madams and sirs

You must view the body as you view the city: intimate, but impartial. Many-windowed. Full of secrets.

In their veins runs very little blood.
In their veins, formaldehyde, embalming fluid, the sour vinegar of regret.
In their veins, the blue waters of Amaralina.
In their veins, the flapping of a vulture’s wing.

sirs and madams
madams and sirs

A tiny sun radiates from the base of the sternum: individual rays extending from that metropolis of ganglia and nerves, that hub of the sympathetic system.

But the blood’s sequin-spangled samba.
But the heart’s wild tambourine.