So far, all over the world, women have survived it. Perhaps it was that our grandmothers were stoic or, that back then, they weren’t entitled to complain, still they reached old age wilting bodies but strong souls. Now, instead, dissertations are written on the subject. As early as thirty agony sets in, Foretelling the catastrophe.
A body is much more than the sum of its hormones. Menopausal or not a woman remains a woman, beyond the production of secretions or eggs. To miss a period does not imply the loss of syntax or coherence; it shouldn’t lead to hiding as a snail in a shell, nor provoke endless brooding. If depression sets in it won’t be a new occurrence, each menstrual cycle has come to us with tears and its load of irrational anger. There is no reason, then, to feel devalued: Get rid of tampons and sanitary napkins! Use them to light a bonfire in your garden! Be naked Dance the ritual of aging And survive Like so many Before you.
I had seen coconut trees and tamarinds and mangos the white sails drying in the sun the smoke of breakfast across the sky at dawn and fish jumping in the net and a girl in red who would go down to the shore and come up with a jug and pass behind a grove and appear and disappear and for a long time I could not sail without that image of the girl in red and the coconut trees and tamarinds and mangos that seemed to live only because she lived and the white sails were white only when she lay down in her red dress and the smoke was blue and the fish and the reflection of the fish were happy and for a long time I wanted to write a poem about that girl in red and couldn’t find the way to describe the strange things that fascinated me and when I told my friends they laughed but when I sailed away and returned I always passed the island of the girl in red until one day I entered the bay of her island and cast anchor and leaped to land and now I write these lines and throw them into the waves in a bottle because this is my story because I am gazing at coconut trees and tamarinds and mangos the white sails drying in the sun and the smoke of breakfast across the sky and time passes and we wait and wait and we grunt and she does not come with ears of corn the girl in red.
When I woke up this morning I knew you were mortally wounded that I was too that our days were numbered our nights that someone had counted them without letting us know that more than ever I had to love you you had to love me. I inhaled your fragrance I watched you sleeping I ran the tips of my fingers over your skin remembered the friends whose quota was filled and are on the other side: the one who died a natural death the one who fell in combat the one they tortured in jail who kicked aside his death. I brushed your warmth with my lips: mortally wounded my love perhaps tomorrow and I loved you more than ever and you loved me as well.
The new skirt, the vague gesture cigarette in hand, the daily inversion of time intranscendent; its emptiness pointing at us, making us feel like parasites, spider weaver of a useless web that wraps and suffocates us.
We present this work in honor of the poet’s 155th birthday.
Ox that I saw in my childhood, as you steamed in the burning gold on the Nicaraguan sun, there on the rich plantation filled with tropical harmonies; woodland dove, of the woods that sang with the sound of the wind, of axes, of birds and wild bulls: I salute you both, because you are both my life.
You, heavy ox, evoke the gentle dawn that signaled it was time to milk the cow, when my existence was all white and rose; and you, sweet mountain dove, cooing and calling, you signify all that my own springtime, now so far away, possessed of the Divine Springtime.