Kristin Dykstra translating Reina María Rodríguez

mouths, destinies

like the rings of those empty mouths
that have kept on floating
they tried to draw circles around my desires;
like the flavor that is semi(sweet) semi(salty) semi(dark)
to my shivering saliva;
like the music she used to drag out of the piano in the back room (badly)
and the residues of other mouths, other destinies,
I — stubborn about conquering things instantly —
the reality that never accepted me. I approached.
my sally reached as far as you in the smoke
(only the smoke and the silence remain, and the old age
like a landscape),
the swimmer of shallow waters who finally threw herself
into the ocean to measure its depth.
it’s not definitively bitter, or dark, or sweet,
it’s nothing. ambiguous, she positions herself on the upper lip
of the composition. the last support for her fragility, that ocean
coiling its obsession,
shortening the distance between the body and its brilliance
(body that weighs nothing now and sinks hopelessly in place,
descending to the moment when it passes,
enclosed, with its useless mass, its remains, its torpitude,
a shipwreck, where desire drowns at the edge of a salt marsh).

the difference
a haunted house on the corner of San Rafael
like a cedar in a line of cedars
mouths, destinies
in Beckett’s South-Eastern Railway Terminus
the one who’s diving (1978)

Kristin Dykstra Translating Reina María Rodríguez

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