For Ma. Victoria
A kitchen can be the world,
a desert, a place to weep.
We were there: two mothers talking in very low tones
as if there were children sleeping in the bedroom.
But no one was there. Only the resounding silence
where music once filled the room from wall to wall.
We searched for the words. We sipped our tea
looking down the bitter well of the past,
two mothers standing on the bridge that unites them
as they bear their emptiness in their hands.
After the Poetry Recital
The recital has ended here,
at the languishing country theater
dressed in glitz like an old aunt.
We poets leave,
slowly, poetically, self-satisfied.
And the sleepy man in the front row,
and the two ladies in white, smelling of magnolias,
the professor of literature, the students
faithfully taking notes, and the homeless man
reciting Walt Whitman…
They also emerge in the powerful moonlight.
in the distance you hear
the excited cheers of rugby players
leveling the local team.
Meanwhile, the poet who had gone to the bathroom arrives,
and from the string of lights where the thrushes sleep,
a threatening drop has fallen.
Then, in the midst of a night bereft of metaphors,
a shy young man with a look of astonishment in his eyes
offers us his hand.
This is rare around here. And he expresses his happiness.
We nod our heads appreciatively
and watch him depart.
A country boy. The poetry.
We walk slowly back to the hotel,
humbly, poetically, uncertain.
© Piedad Bonnett. By arrangement with the authors. Translation © 2017 by Ezra Fitz. All rights reserved.