Betrayal of the thread that appears
and disappears
when the disciple is prepared to set out.
Today that’s the mist we see burning
over the city.
Mist of lime, powdery,
(on its particular day) it will lead you to discover
faith.
A sufficient quantity of leaves to dry in the seawater
of the purple bay.
How long did I contemplate the line dividing
the branch from the water.
So many that I fell, fell again
into vicious circles
speaking lies.
“To err, to err,” the circles always said
and the thread pulled apart.
I realized:  this is called wastage.
The dark branch dipped finally into the water
colliding with today’s mist (putting on its gold)  
so I would understand the necessary amount of faith
which this day will exceed, and that one
with its gentle undulating motion.
Because it’s the sky who opens the door
and its color brings us rest from ire,
from anxiety.
Afterwards it separates the mysteries, the customs
--the wretched creaking behind mist that goes away
when it appears (another thicker screen),
the soul?

Traición del hilo que aparece
y desaparece
cuando el discípulo está preparado para partir.
Es esa neblina de hoy que vemos arder
sobre la ciudad.
Neblina de cal, polvorosa,
que te hará encontrar (en su propio día)
la fe.
Una cantidad de hojas suficientes para secar al mar
de la bahía morada.    
Cuánto tiempo contemplé la raya divisoria
entre la rama y el agua.
Tantas como caí, caí
en los círculos viciosos
de mentir.
“Errar, errar” – decían siempre los círculos
y el hilo se partía.
Esto se llama merma, comprendí.
La rama prieta entró por fin al agua
y tropezó con la neblina de hoy (dorándose)
para que comprendiera la cantidad de fe necesaria
que rebasará este día, y aquel
con su suave movimiento ondulado.
Porque es el cielo quien abre la puerta
y su color nos descansa la ira,
la ansiedad.
Después, aparta los misterios, los hábitos
--ese crujir miserable detrás de una neblina que se va
cuando aparece (otra cortina más espesa)
¿el alma?




Reina María RodriguezReina María Rodriguez

Reina María Rodríguez's most recent collection El libro de las clientas was published in 2005 (Havana: Editorial Letras Cubanas). Among her previous books are Bosque negro (2005), Otras cartas a Milena (2004), and Violet Island and Other Poems (bilingual anthology, Green Integer Press, 2004). Rodríguez recently won the Italo Calvino award for her first novel, which has just been translated into Italian, and she is a two-time winner of the Casa de las Américas prize for poetry. She co-edits the magazine Azoteas in Havana with Antón Arrufat.

Translated from SpanishSpanish by Kristin DykstraKristin Dykstra

Kristin Dykstra’s translations and commentary are featured in bilingual editions of books by Reina María Rodríguez and Omar Pérez, among them Did You Hear about the Fighting Cat?, Something of the Sacred, Time’s Arrest, and Violet Island and Other Poems.  She is a 2012 NEA Literary Translation Fellow.  Dykstra recently completed a mixed-genre book by Rodríguez, Other Letters to Milena, as well as poetry collections by Ángel Escobar and Juan Carlos Flores.  Samples of her recent work appear in Review:  Literature and Arts of the Americas, Asymptote, Bombay Gin, La Habana Elegante, and theHarvard Review.  She co-edits Mandorla:  New Writing from the Americas with Gabriel Bernal Granados (Mexico City) and Roberto Tejada (Dallas).