Ma Mercedes Alba Benitez, Mexican poet and artist from Guadalajara Mexico. Graduate in literary writing, has published in Mexico, Europe and the USA
An ant eats an elephant
while a saxophone
cries cries itself ivory in the middle of the jungle.
the ant awakens walls
it sleeps pachyderm
leaning against a grain
Una hormiga se come un elefante
mientras un saxofon
se llora marfil en medio de la selva
la hormiga despierta murallas
recargada en un grano
Perhaps it was you who sharpened the blade in arms and
and cut your veins: you who painted yourself in white
Religiously to put a bullet through your head
Or perhaps it was I
Everything happened so suddenly.
Tal vez fue usted la que afilo la navaja en brazos y
y se corto las venas: usted la que se pinto de blanco
religiosamente para meterse una bala en la cabeza
o tal vez fui yo
todo paso tan de repente.
Innocence is someone who doesn’t hold back crying
that wakes up at midnight
to embrace his/her own arms
in the mirror that reflects the sea
and does not break.
La inocencia es alguien que no contiene el llanto
que despierta a media noche
a abrazar sus propios brazos
es el espejo que refleja el mar
y no se rompe.
At midnight the windows converse
with a suicidal pillow
a clock accelerates its step
cats strangle comets
a wild animal of the desert you are.
A media noche las ventanas conversan
con una almohada suicida
un reloj acelera el paso
los gatos estrangulan cometas
una fiera del desierto eres tu.
Today is one of those days in which I can die
without fear of breaking down stars
dying is easy these mornings
kills birds to become men.
A white zebra runs over a green bison that licks, clouds to form dinosaurs that drop hail, over the back of the last rhinoceros of the world.
Una zebra blanca corre sobre el bisonte verde que lame nubes
para formar dinosaurios que caen granizo, sobre la espalda
del ultimo rinoceronte, se estremece el mundo.
Neon hearts hang
from the trembling walls of Manhattan
they die from wounds that are not theirs
they turn on and turn off
Corazones de neon
Corazones de neon cuelgan
de los muros temblorosos de Manhattan
mueren de heridas demasiado ajenas
se prenden y apagan
Love is a posthumous note
that cracks my eye’s pupil
it is an old instrument of torture that regulates my pulse.
El amor es la nota postuma
que agrieta la nina de mis ojos
es un viejo instrumento de tortura que regula mi pulso.
The dance of deads
When only God’s sighs are heard in the streets and the northern cold beats against doors and windows, winter arrives to bite the fingers of those alive, and before the semi-open eyes of the snowy orchids and frozen lakes, the dance of the lost souls begins in the sky.
On my calendar, it is November 2. In Mexico, the Day of the Dead is celebrated, and in Egypt, they celebrate the Great Feast of the kiss of two worlds. Today is the day in which legends drink coffee and have sweet bread in the shape of skulls, and the light pretends to be a lullaby. Today, no one is alone.
In the houses of Lapland, the elderly talk all day with the dancers of the light; it is the day when in the city , the observatory of greatest the aurora borealis opens up. It is said that is a sacred place because for millions of years, the first aurora borealis of the winter appears here.
I don’t know where so many people come from, nor the countless rainbows that appear on this night. What is true is that each Nov. 2, is the arrival of the souls covered in a red violet light. My mother says that they are the shadows of those who are still remembered here on Earth; this is how the Ballet of the lights begins, that it opens quickly the eyes of darkness, so that out of its pupils escape the birds of paradise, toucans, the morning lark, owls and the hummingbird, all of which instantly convert this corner of the sky into a concert of color.
My father says that this is the day when those we have lost return, with torches of joy, they come to raise an altar with dances–multicolor, to sit with us, in this sky that is deeper than their absence and which touch with their eyes our cheeks if we cry.
The woman who sells flowers, and my grandmother believe they hear voices of souls, if they hear with their heart. John, the physics teacher says these are just legends to attract more tourism, that the sun flowers that lose their leaves over the sky on this night are not reflecting of God’s fingers. What I have seen is that these rainbows that absorb me and sigh through my pores, have arrived from the northern region of the world, from where the dead arrive, navigating calmly in an icebreaker that shows us infinity.