one of her hands went always in one of death’s
When I still lived in the Other Country and keptmy silence as if it were a Silence of Years,I imagined, frequently, someone like that.She had two names instead of one. And two hands.And three legs. And four eyes. And too much of allthe rest.Forked, like they say sometimes about the tongue to meanit's full of danger.Unresolved, as they qualify novels sometimes, the ones withouthappy endings.Fluid, like the Postmodern condition or like life itself.She smoked cigarettes in the way that I'vementioned, and because of it, I recognized her. That grayness.That hard ceasing. Her clothing from the famous '40s closetand the gaze out through the window. Always. Herdemented flapping. Her churning. Her never keeping still.We called her blueberry because she usually smelled of Eaude Cartier.We called her April though she usually becameNovember or March with the same realistdocility. She was a woman or a woman. Heavylike the honey that gave her eyes color. Sky-like.Unfinished. About-to.It was enough to invoke her in the congregation of the feminine wefor her body to make all of us neutral.She traveled at high speeds and not alone. One of her handswent always in one of death's. Soshe felt safe. Protected from the wings of middayand from the whitest weight.When I lived on the Other Side of the Line, silentand exhausted, inside a Silence of Years and unwashedfor days, I asked myself, frequently, if someone like thatexisted.
Copyright © 2019 by Cristina Rivera Garza
Translation by Julia Leverone
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Cristina Rivera Garza is an author, translator, and critic. Her recent novels include The Taiga Syndrome (trans. Suzanne Jill Levine & Aviva Kana, 2018), The Iliac Crest (trans. Sarah Booker, 2017), and Había mucha neblina o humo o no sé qué (2016). She is distinguished professor and founder of the PhD in creative writing in Spanish at the University of Houston.
Julia Leverone is a poet, translator, and comparatist teaching creative writing and Spanish at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her book of selected poems in translation by Francisco Urondo, Fuel and Fire, won a grant from the Argentine government and was published by Diálogos Press in 2018. Her translations of Rivera Garza’s poems have appeared in Copper Nickel and Gulf Coast.
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