She awoke with a brush in her hand and a thought on her fingertips
She’d start with the base, a maroon rich like the soil around her
Next came the wind, playful in its mesmerizing tangle of curls
Naturally the ocean followed, and settled in two endless pools
What are two oceans without valleys and summits?
Thus came the nose and two shifty rivers joined at two points
Soon after, the sun settled comfortably on both sides of the nose
As the stars found their way to the heart, just south of the river
And the moon graced each ocean with shades of expression
She paused for some time, perusing her creation this and that way
Until she finally smiled, secure in the truth of her knowledge:
In time its true beauty will spring from each crevice
Bearing the fruits of the mystery that sprang from her fingertips
I tucked you away under layers of memories
That were no longer wanted
And locked you behind a door without keys
With the hope that your absence
Would lead to my happiness
But as moons replace suns
And snow covers blooms
Your light has been numbed
By the darkness around you
And your laughter erased
By a merciless silence
That weighs down my lids
Like two heavy boulders
Every so often I have an easier time expressing my thoughts in Spanish. This poem is one of those times. As an exercise, I decided to translate my poem to English, though I must admit the English version is not as melodic as the original.
— SPANISH, original —
Cerré mis ojos con tu mirada en mis pestañas
Y toque las nubes de mis sueños con las yemas de tus dedos
Dejé que el calor de tu perfume abrigara mis sentidos
Y que las plantas de tus pies cargaran el peso de mis pensamientos
Déjame llevarte a lo profundo de mi alma
Para demonstrarte el infinito de mi ser
Sólo así entenderás la cicatriz que tu amor a dejado en mi ser
— ENGLISH TRANSLATION —
I closed my eyes with your gaze weighing down my lashes
And touched the periphery of my dreams with your fingertips
I allowed the warmth of your scent to intoxicate my senses
While the sole of your feet carried the weight of my thoughts
Let me take you to the depths of my soul
So that I may show you the infinite boundaries of my being
Only then will you understand the scars left behind by your love
“Someone with your pedigree…”
Your words hung heavy in the air days after they traveled across the table
I fear you meant them as a compliment, how else could they be so sincere?
They weighed me down like chains tethered to my past
In ways that only lineage roots you to a name and material wealth
They dragged behind my steps like endless lines on a receipt:
The girth of my hips, the cinch of my waist,
The width of my shoulders, the sinews of my legs,
The depth of my eyes, the fullness of my lips,
The strands of my hair, the arch of my brows,
The thoughts in my mind, the degrees on my walls.
Am I thoroughbred enough for you?
Are my markings exactly those for which you search?
Or will I become another ledger neatly folded in your pocket
Perused when hope is thin and need is high?
I don’t feel or look older
But that picture from ten years ago says otherwise
The youthful glow of discoveries and uncertainties
Has been replaced by the graying of wisdom and experience
The sparkle of my eyes is now accompanied by dark circles
Proudly standing at attention like the neat row of ribbons
That once adorned my bedroom wall
Girlhood accomplishments that represented vanquished obstacles
If you look closely you’ll recognize each adventure etched on my face
Like the spindly roads on a map that take you anywhere and nowhere
“Expression marks” you’ll say
“Call them memories” I’ll reply
Ten years from now I’ll remember this day as I search the depths of my eyes
For clues of a past that feels so near yet is uncannily faraway
“Aging” you’ll say
“Call it Life” I’ll reply
Your words are not the problem
For I can read between the edges of your syllables
The problem is that the timbre of your voice
Drips slowly from your lips and hangs heavy on my ears
Like dense pearls threatening to tear the delicate skin of the lobe
The tip of your tongue caresses with the melodic rhythm spoken by your ancestors
A rhythm heavy like viscous honey that’s at once nurturing and foreboding
Like mana from the gods made for starving souls who fear the mystery that brings them life
Don’t say you like my body
Say you like my mind
And the fire burning in my eyes
Don’t say you like my curvy waist
Say you like the infinite boundaries of my thoughts
And the conviction ringing in my voice
Don’t say you like my swaying hips
Say you like the fearlessness of my step
And the resolution seeping through my pores
Don’t say I’m your precious princess
Say I am your respected equal, queen of my domain
And that you’re a trusted ally standing at my side
“You’re a heartbreaker, aren’t you.”
It wasn’t a question; it was a statement.
How like you to believe the truth of your assumptions.
But I played along.
I let you tangle me in your feathery string of words
Round and round until I lost my breath
And blended into the blurred surroundings of your starry night VanGogh
Desperately searching for the edges and angles
Anchoring you to me and us
Knowing I’d shatter against the impenetrable wisp of your love
Leaving behind painfully beautiful fragments of life.
But I played along.
So yes, I’m a heartbreaker.
I’m a terrible breaker of hearts.