Rosario Castellanos – Presence

Some day I’ll know. This body that has been
my refuge, my prison, my hospital, is my grave.

Whatever I have clustered around an anxiety,
a pain, a memory,
will desert in search of water, a leaf,
the original spore, even inert matter and stone.

This knot that I was (inseparable
from anger, betrayals, hopes,
sudden insight, abandonments,
hungers, cries of fear and helplessness,
joy glowing in the deep darkness,
and words, and love and love and loves)
the years will sever it.

No one will see the destruction. Nobody
will take up the unfinished page.

Among this handful of disperse
acts, scattered to chance, not one
will be set aside as a precious pearl.
And yet, brother, lover, child,
friend, ancestor,
there’s no solitude, there’s no death,
though I may forget and I may be done.

Man, where you are, where you live,
we all remain.

Rosario Castellanos

(Translation by John Lyons)

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