Ghosts Are More Territorial Than Cats

ghosts are more territorial than cats
I knew you wouldn’t
follow me
you prefer those same empty rooms with
mapaches
scratching at the screens

I felt you watch me pack the dishes
take down the pictures
put my cloths into suitcases
and take apart the bed
I assembled there
two and a half years ago when
you were a flesh and blood human
I didn’t know

de último
I stuffed the cats into cages and
took them away
yowling

they’re getting used to it here
already
they love me more than
my own ghost

ghosts are more territorial than cats
which is lucky
I could walk away and leave you there
you would never have left yourself
in spirit
the way you left in body
one cool dry dawn
sin mirar atrás

it was easier for me to go
the excuse about the inundaciones
is true and everyone knows it

I didn’t say adiós when I left
or hasta luego
either
I walked out the door
as silent as you
as silent as cats

I am not territorial
at all

I bolted the bed together in the new room
with no ghosts
put my shoes in the closet and
the spoons in the drawer
I’m home now
with my books and my
masa madre fermenting in the fridge

at night under the fan
I open the windows to the
sea breeze
and dream sweetly
of cats

The Bus Roared Like a Lion

when the bus pulled up
to take you away
to the airport
the driver who opened
the luggage hold for your
suitcases asked
where are you going
and said ustedes to us
even a stranger could see
in the half dark
we were nosotros
one two-headed creature
you answered
aeropuerto and kissed me
the bus swallowed you and
roared like a lion
as it tore us into
tú y yo

Conozco Islas

vámonos de aquí
dejemos atrás la tierra firme
echémonos al mar
nuestra cuna, casa, ataúd
y avancemos hacia el horizonte
con brazadas fuertes

no temamos baby
al sol, a la luna
a los espacios líquidos
desconocidos

vámonos de aquí
te ruego
conozco islas
que desde aquí no se ven
conozco los dragones
a la orilla del mundo

no despidámonos más
excepto de la tierra
donde nos raspa el aire y
nos atrapa la gravedad

A Poem For The Kiss / Un Poema Para El Beso / Un Poesia Per Il Bacio


there must be a poem
for the kiss
a quiet poem
a gentle kiss
the one you don’t remember

she presses her lips to
your warm forehead
a terrible journey
is over and
silence begins
now

another poem might say
you seem to be
only asleep, but
not this one
this poem has
watched you through
a thousand sleeps and
knows the difference

her lips press your forehead
this last time
trembling

the doctors have
turned off the morphine and
you are free of
this destroyed flesh

they will bring her
your ring, later
to keep
in the poem
with the kiss


Un Poema Para El Beso

debe haber un poema
para el beso
un poema silencioso
un beso suave
el que tu no recuerdas

ella aprieta sus labios a
tu frente cálida
un viaje terrible
se ha terminado y
el silencio comienza
ahora

otro poema podría decir que
pareces estar
solo dormido, pero
este no
este poema te ha vigilado
mil veces
mientras duermes y
conoce la diferencia

los labios de ella tocan tu frente
esta última vez
temblando
los doctores han
apagado la morfina y
estás libre de
esta carne destruida

luego, ellos le llevarán
tu anillo
a ella
para guardar
en el poema
con el beso



Una Poesia Per Il Bacio

ci dovrebbe essere una poesia
per il bacio
una poesia a sottovoce
un bacio delicato
l’unico che non ricordi

lei preme le sue labbra
sulla tua fronte calda,
un viaggio terribile
è finito e
il silenzio inizia
ora

un’altra poesia direbbe
che sembri
solo addormentato
ma non questa
questa poesia ti ha
guardato mentre dormivi
mille volte e
sa la differenza

le sue labbra ti toccano la fronte
l’ultima volta
tremando
i dottori ti hanno tolto
la morfina e
tu sei libero da
questa carne distrutta

le porteranno
il tuo anello più tardi
per conservarlo
nella poesia
con il bacio

Prey / Presa

catch me
in the fish trap
i offer my flesh
for your feast

in this way
i become you
i knit my body
into your bones

in 1000 years
we will be together
still
in single grains of sand

*some hunting cultures suggest that prey voluntarily yields to the hunter as part of the circle of lifea rarely-recognized form of love



PREY / PRESA

pésqueme
en la trampa para peces
ofrezco mi carne
para saciar tu hambre

de este modo
me convierto en tí
tejo mi cuerpo
dentro de tus huesos

en mil años
estarémos juntos
todavía
en granitos de arena

*algunas culturas de caza sugieren que la presa cede por voluntad propia al cazador como parte del ciclo de la vida–una forma poco reconocido del amor

I’m Lying in my Hammock When I Hear the Phone

(poem #2 in a series in progress)

I’m lying in my hammock when
I hear the phone
make a cricket sound

it’s you
you found me
you want to be my friend

I’m lying in my hammock when
I hear the phone
make a cricket sound

it’s you
saying hola
and I answer
because I always do
because your hair is curly and
your eyes are blue and
I am lying in my hammock
with the cats

you tell me things that
are the answers to
questions I haven’t asked

I’m lying in my hammock when
I hear the phone
make a cricket sound

it’s you
you ask me questions that
have long answers so I
summarize

you say you like me
I tell you
you don’t know me
I say it because I’m scared
because I do know me, and
there are crickets in my phone
at night I dream of cats

you have only imagined me
you have no idea


The Country of Forbidden Words / La Tierra de Las Palabras Prohibidas

you have transported me to
the country of forbidden words.
when you see me
bite my lip
can you read them
in my eyes?
they swim like fish
inside my body
surfacing then diving

in this country of
forbidden words
all the road signs say
stop
other instruction
is forbidden

the sun rises on our silences
on what exists unspoken
on what twists inside
but must not be born



La Tierra de Las Palabras Prohibidas

me has transportado a
la tierra de las palabras prohibidas.
cuando me ves
morder el labio
las lees
en mis ojos?
nadan como peces
adentro de me cuerpo
entre la superficie y las profundidades

en esta tierra de
las palabras prohibidas
todas las señales de tránsito dicen
alto
otra instrucción 
es prohibida

el sol sube sobre mis silencios
sobre lo que existe sin pronunciarse
sobre lo que retuerce por dentro
pero no debe nacer

Follow Me

follow me
to the brackish places
where warm muck mixes
with ocean salt and
last week’s rain
this is where land crabs
make their burrows
little fish hatch between
rotting twigs and
baby crocodiles wait,
their eyes floating like
bubbles at the surface,
for the return of their
hunting mothers

 

Sígueme

sígueme
a los lugares salobres
donde el lodo caliente se mezcla
con la sal del mar y 
lluvias de la semana pasada
aquí es donde los cangrejos
hacen sus hoyos
pecesitos nacen entre
ramas podridas y
cocodrilos infantes esperan,
sus ojos flotando como
burbujas en la superficie,
sus madres que andan
de caza

Poems with Safe Places

let there be poems
with safe places
poems with doors that close
with cats on the bed
shade tress and
sunday mornings when
no one is
outside

let there be poems with
pillows
curtains
clocks that move slowly
and rain clouds to
cover the
blinding sky

 

Poemas con Lugares Seguros

que existan poemas
con lugares seguros
poemas con puertas que se cierran
con gatos en la cama
con arboles que den sombra y
las mañanas de domingo cuando
no hay nadie
afuera

que existan poemas con
almohadas
cortinas
relojes que caminan lentamente
y nubes de lluvia 
para cubrir 
el cielo cegador

Obedient to the Moon / Obediente a la Luna

watch the horizon
move toward it when
arching water beckons
expect the unexpected
expect to have to try

rain falls on the jungle
even when you are sleeping
even after you die
then slides through roots
to the ocean

watch water
study how it pushes through air
fierce and gentle
all of this
obedient to the moon

 

Obediente a la Luna

mira el horizonte
acércate a él cuando
el agua se arquea, llamando
espera lo inesperado
espera deber intentar

la lluvia cae sobre la jungla
aun cuando duermes
aun después de que mueras
luego se desliza a través de raíces
hacia mar

observa el agua
estudia cómo empuja contra el aire
feroz y delicado
todo esto
obediente a la luna