Secret Energy

Lupe Gómez
Spanish
b. 1972

 

1

You gave birth to me. I bore wings.
The blood of the dead was kept
in the trough.
It was Entroido, Carnival. I believed in the open sincerity of accordions.

There’s snow, so much snow in the fields and in the language I speak,
inside the political stomach of cows.

2

You gave birth to me striking softly
in the difficult percussion of my body.
The theatrical walls of the wellsprings burst
in the crystal of night.

I took flight.

3

You had four children, and forty years.
You gave birth in the kitchen of a dirt-floored house.
My blood was a knot in your domed belly.

4

You danced, and brought in the harvest.
I had whooping cough and
was expiring in your arms.

5

“I’ve two godmothers. Two meadows. Two pasts. Two trains. I’m two women, two sisters, two neighbour ladies, two wee boats.”

6

“There at that baptism, in 1972, was my godmother Marisol who wanted to name me for a tiny Virgin revered in that dark, chilly, lovely church. Also there /present and absent / were my godmother Virtudes and godfather Antonio. They lived in Germany, in the emigration of flowers. Virtudes’s eyes are wide-open blue camellias. Antonio was a decent and elegant man from Hermida. Though he’s dead, he keeps giving me gifts.”

Night is memory . . .

7

Mother camouflaged. Nest for birds.
Cuddle. Linguistic embraces.

I went hunting for birds.

8

I love you, with my mute fingers.
With butterflies of air I make you tatted lace.
With the blind power of my sad eyes
I rehearse a work of theatre for you.

With my love I make you
a forest.
I learn to listen to clouds, to work earth and to read heaven, in your lap.

9

“You gave birth to me, and your man looked on in silence, bursting with happiness and trees. I brought electric shadows.”

10

You screamed,
ate sops,
sipped Sanson fortified wine.

11

From your body mine was born,
as if you were sharing
the mystery of magpies.

12

You had no dreams
because village women don’t dream.

The economic backwardness of Galicia
was a form of artistic avant-garde.

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