Se sentó en el sofá como si fuera una visita en su propia casa que,
recientemente recuperada, arreglada y fría, recordaba
la tranquilidad de una casa ajena.

C. L


The Last Waist

After years of perfectly drawn blueprints
mi mother ended up mending other people’s clothes.
One day John showed up with his leukemia.
He wanted a pair of pants to be taken in. He was getting thinner.
Every time he came, I would cover my mouth.
I wanted to throw myself over his body.
Five reduced pants for the five versions
of John’s waist. You were lime white,
wasted light in the dimension of your eyes.
But your lips, red, as if all your blood was summoned there.
I saw you last when you brought your sixth pair of pants
which I ruined weeping myself to sleep on them.
The following morning when I saw my mother her eyes
were made of crystal. She was behind the sewing machine,
glowing under the faint rays of the sun, sitting
next to those wrinkled, shameless, ownerless clothes.

Fluttering Words

I fall in a swirl, a pigeon falls with me.
My bird-like face crushes against the floor.
Father, I never learnt how to fly, I never did
and my breathing, father, is all wrong, I have scales,
I am a moth-to-be being a body
I burnt the bowels of my mother
to be born with fluttering sacred words
but I spoke out what had no sound
and I fell with the pigeon
born out of my foreign-bird face.
mi father told me I had wings,
and I swam.

To Your Body Exactly

One day oblivion began,
the particles of your face
started to disintegrate,
and now you are kept
in every man’s features.
Your moth-eaten hats,
your gloves deformed
by your hands’ absence.
One day all the men
standing in the rain fitted
to your body exactly.
I don’t recall anymore
how wide your back was
how soft the cloth
of your coat was.
One day oblivion began,
I was all alone at the platform
the train doors opened
and closed as if
a congregation of ghosts
were coming in.
Moonlight swayed back
and forth as an old lantern,
the stars seemed the sharp
teeth of a prowling beast.
Your childhood and your old age
are gone, but your voice
stays, an indestructible bell,
thundering in my temple,
dismayed by mystery.

(Translated by Daniela Camozzi)

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