Poems translated by Amanda Fuller
"Read women: An Anthology", Locked Horn Press, San Diego, California.

Foiled censure

The mother says: "Shut up."

Sorceress of words aborted before having guts, she measures their size and knows that the little girl must swallow the string of words backwards, magical thread of light that enters the liver of the labyrinth. What the little girl says carries no weight: it comes out, and as soon as it touches the prison of the lips is erased by the mother’s hands, orphanage sponges that ooze acid on the blackboard of air that binds them. Silence blooms. Devolution of thought, as if the little girl has always known she is subject to an invisible polygraph. The mother believes what remains unsaid does not count. She knows, of course, about digestion and enzymes, but ignores the mysterious alchemy that transmutes the "yes" into "no," opus nigrum silenced only to return forty years later, turned into lines of a poem entitled "Foiled censure."

Oh, nail of mercury, and at the same time dove that for years bore corrosive salt on the backs of its wings.

Mom, so tough, and fruits

We have lived too close for love [...].

[She] has grown to be my shadow.

Do our shadows love us, for all that

They are never parted from us?

—J.M. Coetzee

1. Noodles my bones, under the polished stones, the boulder of your four thousand eyes.

2. My origami heart, folded in the isthmus of your mouth: marbled paper, and always, forever yours.

3. Camel in the desert, I smell in the vicinity an oasis of water: never a place for your fondness.

4. Your knife shining in the night of eye: edge of new moon, perfect hyperbola of your pupils.

5. The remembrance of me, a pearl alive in its calcium case: that organ of yours, crystallized body inside.

6. You mishandled my heart, avocado in your showcase. Once miracle of fantastic fruit: magical apple red and stemless, camouflaging my arteries.

7. Your coffin, mother, with a stone inside, alone, hard, surrounded by your dissolved flesh.