Yo fui la más callada de todas las que hicieron el viaje hasta tu Puerto. Julia de Burgos, Yo Fui la Mas Callada
Willie, when Eloy showed me the wedding rings
I broke out in tears. I was so innocent, didn’t even know
why I followed you to Bolivia.
Write me a poem that will bring me back to life, papi.
Be my distraction, or I am going to find a tall, blue eyed angel
with baker hands and lips like James Dean.
A dormir se van ahora mis lagrimas por donde tu cruzaste mi verso.
Negro, I’ve murdered myself so many times the effort is starting to hurt.
Someone stole my poetry. They wanted to teach me to write on paper.
As if everything I do isn’t already written in blood.
I begged mama to help me die, but she refused,
had to slash my own wrist.
Todos los ojos del viento ya me lloraron por muerta.
Do you think ghosts can ask for asylum in Cuba?
Willie, take my clothes off. Look at my scars
without crying and tell me I’m beautiful. Don’t lie,
don’t cry. I need to drink a cup of coffee with you
reading me Ginsberg, Simic, and Julia de Burgos.
Yours forever, The Ghost.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
* the verses in italics are lines from Julia de Burgos’s poems
Sergio A. Ortiz is a retired English professor and bilingual queer poet. A Pushcart nominee, Best of the Web, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. He took second place in the 2016 Ramón Ataz annual poetry competition, sponsored by Alaire Publishing House. His recent credits include Spanish audio poems in GATO MALO Editing, Maleta Ilegal, Frances House, South Florida Poetry Journal, Communicators League, RatsAssReview, Spillwords and several other journals.