I want to grieve your loss, but find it logically impossible: Who are you? I gasp for air and it burns my eyes. Tears are thick as oil, lingering over a surface they cannot clean. Nothing makes sense. When will i learn? http://www.positivebeats.com/20/tori_amos/strange.html


life’s surprises (la vida te da sorpresas)

There’s a grenade sitting in the pit of my stomach.
The days are viscous, the air is heavy. Reality doesn’t seem real. My head spins and I would like to just get to the other side of that thick wall made of everything I see, everything I touch.
I would like for this nightmare to end.
How to account for the tenderness of watching him sleep? His face poised and relaxed like a beautiful child’s.
How to account for the feeling of peace? Falling asleep breathing in his skin, my face buried in his chest, underneath the fort of the blankets.
And the hands I had begun to rely on? Small and white, hands that would give and take and feed. How can I ever eat the same foods without feeling starved?
My heart is broken.
In the recesses have snuck in the angry words, the tightness of his muscles, his quick, breathless breathing. His bitter tactics.
Love is empty.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sometimes, on the weekends when it was Dad’s turn to have us, Dad would keep me hostage. He’d call me from bed, where he’d lay day after day trying to drink himself into nothingness. My brothers and sisters would play. But I would come over because I felt sorry for Dad. And I missed him. I never had him long enough. He’d talk for hours, recalling everything painful that ever happened to him, intermittently crying and trying to salvage from his stories something he tried to pass off as a life lesson to me.
But mostly he’d cry and drift off.
During those hours I was dead with him. I knew Dad wanted to die, and I couldn’t bear to let him die alone.
Dad hit that point so many times. The point where they’d call in a nurse, usually my aunt, to feed him intravenously because he hadn’t eaten for days and had drank for too many. Dad used to like avocadoes. He used to drizzle lime juice over everything he ate. He liked meat tamales. He would smother his with plain yogurt, ketchup, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. No one else could stand the sight, but this was his favorite thing to eat.
But Dad wouldn’t eat, when he was trying to die.
Mostly I think he wanted pity. He wanted to stay filthy and wallow in it, to feel unworthy of being loved. To convalesce. Then he could be nursed.
When the nurse would come with the IV, my entire world sank. The movement of the ground would make me dizzy. Once, Mamma Lily found me in the yard, sitting on the ground in a corner, legs crossed, head buried in my hands, sobbing for the death of my father. Choking, sinking.
The imminent death of my father. It was only a threat, but it was rock-hard as a fact. And it was always there.
What Daddy did was keep us hostage, punish us for his pain, force us to feel it with him.
At thirteen, I finally told Dad that I’d rather think he was dead than know he didn’t care about us. I wrote the letter in the US. Ten days later, in Managua, he died.
Instead of a father, I had an effigy I had to assemble from fragments, from memory, from everyone’s anecdotes. It was this effigy I rebelled against as a teenager and which I eventually learned to understand, accept, forgive. My paper-cutout of a father contained my entire heart, the safety I so desperately needed, my tears in the dark, my superhero with a cape, the stage lights of his smile beaming over my endeavors, my hope for the future, my dreams of healing him, of healing myself.
And that void, that deep abyss of longing that carved itself in me, and nothing will ever fulfill.


el sol brilla

…y me siento contenta cuando camino en Mass. Av., cuando veo el color rojo en los rótulos de Hong Kong y Grafton St. Y recién caigo en cuenta que es así porque asocio el llegar hasta ahí con un logro: salir de Harvard Yard con vos al lado mío, pasito apresurado hacia tu coche, destino incierto, pero seguramente terminaré en tus brazos.


de nuevo ahogada

si, de nuevo. no se como logro hacerlo, pero siempre termino ahi, en un lugar sin salida. todo se fue a la mierda y yo no puedo decirte ya lo que siento.


aguas de la realidad

El amor es una tentativa de penetrar en otro ser, pero sólo puede realizarse a condición de que la entrega sea mutua. En todas partes es difícil este abandono de sí mismo; pocos coinciden en la entrega y más pocos aún logran trascender esa etapa posesiva y gozar del amor como lo que realmente es: un perpetuo descubrimiento, una inmersión en las aguas de la realidad y una recreación constante.
—Octavio Paz, El laberinto de la soledad


sunshine manifesto

I want peace of mind.
To restore my childhood dreams.
I want to touch my father’s cheek and hear his laughter. One day I will see him again & he will not be hurt, he will not be empty, he will not be broken.
One day I will meet my mother again. She will be sixteen, & larger than life, without guilt, without the voice of her own mother gnawing, born again from a past in which she always was nourished, always wanted, always loved.
She will, again, be my best friend.
One day I will sit, smiling, at the table of that beautiful, impossible family, in which brothers & sisters really are part of one big project, & really care. No one feels left out here. We’re all one, and dad is healthy, happy. And we love one another.
One day I will wake up and not feel intimately wounded. I will be new, sweet & happy as cotton candy.
Uncle would never have played mom-and-dad with me. Would have never hurt me.
Then he could still be in our family, I could still love him. No one would be disappointed. He wouldn’t be a ghost somewhere in East Germany.
I wouldn’t feel, in my innermost being, like damaged goods.
I want peace of mind, so that one day I can fall in love for the first time again, & not cry my heart out because my best friend, my love, my partner in crime, in fishing, cooking, canoeing without sunscreen, gardening, wading around stingrays, barbequeing under a Florida sunset surrounded by mosquitoes ... doesn't love me that way —
Peace of mind so I can fall in love sweetly, surrendering my tenderest flank without being left alone in this love –
I want my heart,
my heart,
my heart,
my heart.
One day the mad wheel in my head will stop. The chatter that blinds me to my surroundings will be silenced, and I will be larger than myself, than all the selves I’ve ever been.
I want to sleep in my mother’s heart.
I want to hold my first child in my arms and smell his soft head.
Be queen for a day, every day, to someone who will see me as I am, and see to me, as long as he can—someone who will volunteer to drown in sorrow when I die, for whom I will look sweetly forward to my death, if he leaves first.
Someone in whose light I can take root and grow.
I am going to wake up one day to hear a voice inside myself that will calm me down, deliver me from fear, sing me a lullaby.
Maybe it will be my own sweet mother, sleeping, curled up, inside my heart.
I want to be a little girl again and love in that light way of butterflies: giving away older sisters’ stolen love letters, with their beautiful script, in exchange for pink watches, chewing gum, stickers, erasers, lip gloss, pink rubber bracelets. To be again in the sweet trade of friendship.
One day I will wake up and be as small and fat as I was when I dreamt of purple Morning Glory flowers on my kindergarten teacher’s desk.
From the altar, the Virgin of Fatima will open her eyes as I sing in the church choire. She’ll give me a secret smile, finally — the one I looked out for every Sunday at Mass from my ninth to my tenth birthday.


sor sabia

Humor de mi family:
—Lo que te está pasando es que sólo te estás acordando de lo bueno, te olvidás de lo malo...
—Sí … como que uno se encapricha con la misma película y la ves una vez, y la volvés a ver, y la volvés a ver…eso es lo que me pasa... no puedo parar.
—Pero no, olvidáte, la película está editada… Y vos, pensá en proteger tus sentimientos, ya no podés estar de Lucky Strike!


24 horas

…o más. Maldito desequilibrio: ¿me pensarás igual? Maldita indiferencia a la felicidad que tengo puesta en bandeja, malditas ganas de sufrir por lo que no me conviene.


total ... son mis sueños ...

Tres cervezas, cuatro horas de conversa con mi amiga. He caminado en ropa veraniega, colores naranja, amarillo, verde, con pinta de gitana, por la ciudad como por la sala de mi casa. Y ya voy a dormir, porque quiero soñar con que nunca te fuiste, con que siempre me quisiste más que al aire. Voy apurándome para escuchar los muchos “te quiero tipo te amo” que me vas a decir en mis sueños, los tranquilitos, los que no tienen nada que esperar ni que desesperar.



Soñaba con una fiesta en un salón enorme. Yo estaba en mi rol de simpática, de segura de mí. Por dentro temblaba. Invité a un grupo de gente mayor a bailar, y la señora que yo quería impresionar, una activista latina, me decía que luego, con ademán condescendiente. Yo bailaba swing con una amiga, pensando en el ex-novio que fue mi conexión a lo kul. Sentía su presencia porque pulsaba la música y yo me comparaba con él, competía a quién conocía esta canción primero, si él o yo, a si estaba él en esta buena fiesta como yo, o no. Por fin el grupo de gente mayor se acercaba a mí. Yo los guié al frente de la pista, pero justo en ese momento se acabó la música y se dispersó la gente. Yo me hundía por dentro – tan un-kul – cuando ví a Raúl llegar, libro en mano, a saludarme con su cara de hipócrita: Darling... Me preguntó, Have you seen him? Yo le dije que no, que me parecía que estabas enfermo, que talvez habías llegado pero te habías ido solo. Y él, con una sonrisa maliciosa: O con alguien.

Como por una ventana infinita te ví: el mar rugía, y vos ibas solo, caminando, sordo como un fantasma. Entonces pensé, no es justo que yo te espere más. Y desperté.

Qué podés darme que equivalga a la forma en que me mueve el piso no tenerte, igual como me mueve el piso verte; esta obstinación de querer que me quieras más que al aire; esta forma idiota de tomarme dos copas de vino y montarme al tren a llorar esta historia; este sentir que me valida tu presencia; de que se me va el aire; de que respiro nuevamente porque te veo temblando, avasallado por mi cuerpo hambriento; de que soy un papelillo estrujado de placer cuando me deshacen las yemas de tus dedos.

Él me dice viví la vida, dejáte querer. Con sus exigencias, me rapta y me hace partícipe de una historia muy suya, una historia de heridas abiertas y de vacíos por colmar que me suenan, pero me son ajenos. Una obstinación desmesurada que me da ganas de correr. Así me ofrece a manos llenas y yo me quedo, muy de a poquito, pataleando, dejándome. Más cínica de lo que un día fui, pero guardando un poquito de luz, por si acaso.

Y me pregunto, y me digo, esto debe ser como me sentís vos, con mi ristra de traumas y mi necesidad. Nada ligera, nada ligera.