Un-translate-able

How very sad that in Spanish there is no word for bosom.

All the many underlying meanings of hold,

similarly slip through the cracks of translation.

In this city I live in the spaces left between words,

the left-overs swept under the rug

that has become my tongue.

I am getting lumpy.

After a summer spent speaking with strangers

I am re-learning how to be Southern-Hemisphere-lonely—

Sólo, en español, sin el acento,

can also mean -only-

a few letters difference in English 

but as for languages that speak in solitude,

the germans have a whole verb just for being alone.

In their language, loneliness is not just a feeling, 

but a thing that you DO.

If words are the vessels for expressing experience,

I want to live a life un-translate-able.

I like to think that I am made of my favorite words—

bufanda, barriga, bosom,

acarangüé, che ro’u, ombligo,

deja vú, riachuelo, tenoctitlán,

ambiguous, unrequited, cardamom.

But these words will never run through my blood,

or intertwine with my DNA.

Language—just as so many things in life—

is merely a construction of the societies in which we function.

So while words can run over the carpet of my tongue,

thread themselves through the tears in my tights,

and sink into the dimples of my freckled face—

I am made from the moments where language will not suffice—

when music inexplicably makes me cry, 

or when hunger dismantles syllables until I am stuttering on empty,

or when cansancia wrestles exhaustion, 

and pushes all conscious elocution out from my cranium.

There is no word in Spanish for bosom—just the act of sinking into one.

The many-layered meanings of HOLD 

are folded into intertwined bodies and in between fingers interlocked in silence.

Solitude is a language in and of itself.

Esto no tiene traducción.

All I Have

Is today the day i could lose everything, Or is tomorrow where it might begin..

Should I falter in or break out of this mood, shivers in paradise a walk in these shoes..

Aroma bottle & cigarette fumes, just another light that i gotta roll through..

Is it all i have, could i give some to you? All I share, is it even good to show all i have..

Memory twisted, a mind full of screws, an imperfect majestic circle of tainted black clues..

Shuffle my voiced thoughts, just anothersong left in December..

Too Late for reaction or swimming towards truth..

Because its all i have, is it all i hold from you..

Maybe its all i have, could it be all i have to give you..

Summer storms purging, the sky cracks in two, just another cycle of what my wold goes through..

Sideway smiles spiraling down, standing at the edge of tomorrow, what could i say to change how you feel about change..

Its all i have, itll never break away

Its all i could give, to you..

Obsessions and fog horns

The feeling of a fading obsession is the sound of the foghorn outside my window

reminding me that in the midst of these four walls

the echoes of a life lived on the sea swims through sound waves

and reverberates in my jaw.

I have chewed the same land-locked syllables for so long

I forgot what it tastes like to get lost in the fog of the unfamiliar. 

My mind has been running in closed circuits for 10 months going on eternity,

flicking between your words, your eyes, your smile, your arms, 

that place on the back of your neck—just there where I could—

your words, your eyes, your smile, your arms,

that place —

I have never been one to let go easily.

From the time my hands formed fists in the womb 

I have folded along the same lines I always have,

putting far too much faith in palm lines and wrinkles,

and not enough in things like departure dates or miles.

I read old letters and journal entries like the lost gospels,

hoping to match the paths in the map of my former feelings

to the street signs in the google earth of your past confessions. 

Retracing my steps like a monk lost in a labyrinth,

making a shrine out of the unforgotten. 

But the foghorn sounds outside my window

and I wonder at the relativity of distance.

I haven’t seen a boat up close in so long.

Empty space

Far too often I fall in love with empty place settings,

lose my heart to the way the air moves in spare rooms,

lovingly gaze aching with longing at unoccupied chairs.


We have had the most passionate love affairs.


Having spent most of my life eating at a table filled by four

I imagine how my twenties will unfold—

romantic nights eating alone

surrounded by empty space and place mats perfectly placed

settings seductively set

silverware wearing it’s very best.


You see, my mothers were never shy about teaching me all the right

"manners",

so by the time I was 13 I’d already read many books on

"etiquette",

I knew exactly how to set the silverware just—so—

in parallel people-pleasing lines 

that matched up with the perfectly arranged place mat

saving the place

I refused to let anyone occupy,

too enamored was I with the romance of empty space.


Once in a while I let some real humans audition for fillers,

flesh and blood dinner guests that play off my set-dressings nicely,

know how to fill their mouths with variations of my drafted scripts between bites.

But I have always deemed them insufficient,

sent them packing with the crumbs from their placemats,

maladighted for some minor misdemeanor of knife and fork, 

or perhaps a misplaced napkin corner,

imperfections and missed connections serving as carefully constructed

excuses for a life in which I fall in love alone—

goldilocks indecision undercutting the simple fact that 

lives take space to be lived.


Bodies change the shape of things.


Unlike empty space, their mass-filled molecules

force sheets, pillows, and my stomach to form new

ways of falling around them.

You’d think things that were given the properties of solids

wouldn’t be so malleable.


The too-numerous failings of the heart will go unmentioned.


I’ve never been able to fashion my chest tempur-pedic,

always failing the wine-glass test

and spilling over

with your every seismic on-the-edge-of-sleep twitch.


All this being said,

just know that when I blush at the slightest breeze

or breathe faster at the sight of an empty seat

it is not because of you,

but your very non-existence,

that I am all at once overcome

with the most frustrating waves of love

and loneliness

there ever were.

Not a Poem, Not a letter, No lies

If I didn’t have second thoughts or if propriety wasn’t my first priority

I would send you song lyrics and music videos

because I want you to know that 

at 2:34am in Buenos Aires

I still think you’re beautiful

and it’s your body I think about lying next to mine

when the going gets lonely

and when I can’t feel my toes

it’s the backs of your knees my dreams sink into

because I would rather have no one else’s warmth run through me than yours.

At 7:56pm when my stomach is hurting and my eyelids are heavy with wishes, 

my pillow can only be your stomach,

your imaginary hips sustain my ship in a storm

I pretend to fall into you ten thousand times more than I would should.

The words I have written to you, for you, because of you

fill the nooks and crannies of my overcrowded hard drive.

You are the nick-nacks in my over-crowded pack-rat attic

I can’t seem to throw the thought of you and me away.

I think it’s because I could never bear the thought of such a treasure

heaped in with the rest of the garbage men’s 8am conquests

when it could be held close to your chest at midnight

or read and re-read by girls not yet born

in echoes of every lonesome youth’s unrequited love.

But I think it’s really mostly because 

I don’t ever want to be the kind of woman who dies with an empty attic

all alone.

Because what is a happy ending if not a lump in the throat of someone’s child

reading old words written with no knowledge of the future in which they’re now living.

I don’t want to let my present moments go un-lumped in my children’s throats.

Which is basically all just an elaborate excuse for writing these unsent supplications

and these lust-songs unsung in the echoing silence of my insecurities. 

In short, I opened a blank email to you last night

and the cursor blinked black and white mockeries

tapping the infinite absence of meaningful communication back at me.

A million possible lines flew through my head—

I miss you I love you I wish you were lying here next to me—

I dreamt of the softness of your stomach last night and it almost made me cry—

Where are you, what are you thinking, what are you carrying inside your heart?—

Do your hands still make the same shapes they did last month?—

I once wrote that I loved you with my split ends

and I’m worried that I somehow ended up loving you all the way to my roots. 

I am thinking about getting my hair cut, but not as much as I think about you,

I wish I could have shouted “spots backs!” into your shoulders when we hugged goodbye

I wish you hadn’t held on so long

I wish I’d never let go

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