I Will Pick the Lovely Blooms

David Bowles
5 min readJun 27, 2024

The twenty-third cuicatl in Songs of the Lords of Anahuac, my English translation of the codex Romances de los señores de la Nueva España. A note written in Spanish at the beginning attributes the poem to “Cuahcuahtzin, Lord of Tepechpan.” It also appears in the other poetry manuscript, Cantares mexicanos, as song 43 and again as song 62, canto C.

My heart lusts¹ for the flowers,
those that just lie in my hands.
I sing out my anguish.
I practice my song on Earth.
I am Cuahcuauhtzin.²
I yearn for the flowers
that lie in my hands.
I pour my anguish out.

Where, then, could we go
and never die?
Whether I am jade or gold,
I will be either drilled or
melted down in the crucible.
I am brought to life.³
I am Cuahcuauhtzin.
I pour my anguish out.

Your jade drum,
your motmot ocarina,⁴
you go playing them,
The singer has arrived,
he comes to present himself.⁶

Take delight! It is the right time.
Let him come present himself.
But I make his heart ache
as I intone these hymns.
The singer has arrived…



David Bowles

A Mexican American author & translator from South Texas. Teaches literature & Nahuatl at UTRGV. President of the Texas Institute of Letters.