Arguments with destiny: 15

“How did I get to be this jellied substance
moaning between two worlds?”

(“¿Cómo me hice gelatina y sustancia
gemido entre este mundo y el otro?”)

~ from Génesis doméstico / My Private Genesis by Teresa Calderón, trans. Jean Morris

When I come back in another life can it be
as child, not as mother? I want to be

the one whose growing shape unseen hands
palpate during those months of expectancy—

The one whose newly fluting ears show up,
smudged triangles on the ultrasound.

And immediately thereafter’s an excuse
to go shopping for a small speaker

to hold nearest the flesh that houses,
through which the notes of Grieg’s

“Holberg Suite” or an Albeniz tango
might be poured… Instead of the one

who feeds, can I be the one who’ll wake
through the night, hungry, always hungry

for the moon’s blue milk, then dandled
like a bud on a thin green stem?

The corridor through which I’m pulled
is narrow and mud-spattered;

the coat of vernix that I wear,
beginning to thin in patches. Then

finally the hoist or catch as I emerge:
wet, wordless, wobbly, wailing—

Thoroughly at the world’s mercy, body
of cells divided, delivered for mothering.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Genesis domestico....

3 Comments


  1. I love this poem as much as the one I translated and am so happy that it served as inspiration!

    Reply

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