Museum in Santa Marta

In Bolivar's room the clock is stopped
At 9:05
The precise time, says a sign,
That the conqueror died.

On a chalk white wall
A clean gold sword and a poet's ode
Hang and speak always, only
At 9:05.

Every day Bolivar is dead.
At 9:05 his bed is empty
And there is no trace of the doctor
With his ear to the sinking chest,
His finger on the chilling wrist,
Remembering to draw out his watch.

But what if he had only heard
His own fading pulse? Or missed a breath,
Arriving at the wrong time,
Like a harried visitor showing up
Just as the museum closes for the night?

At 9:05 the continent is conquered.
The sun crosses borders
And casts new shadows
Over bed, sword, ode
In the room where Bolivar was stopped.

The ode repeats itself: 
Require la voz del viento
Y el pecho del mar--
Every hour, on the hour,
One needs
The voice of the wind
And the chest of the sea
To praise this liberator.

But it is still 9:05
And Bolivar has died
And the wind coughs and staggers across the land
And the moon tilts and thrusts
And drags the bare sea out
Like a corpse,
Like so much wasted skin.