Ana Maria Rodas

#8

Mujer ya viene el sueñó
aprovecha este tiempo
y olvida a los que ahora
                          se agitan
                          aman
beben, fornican.

Ya llegó el sueño, amiga.
Calma tu sangre
y aférrate al momento
en que por fin comienzas

                Sin brazos amantes, sin muletas
recíbelo, no es más que el sueño
                        y ya es bastante.
________________________________
Woman, sleep is coming
take this time
and forget the others who are now
                          moving around
                          loving
drinking, fucking.

Sleep’s here, friend.
Calm your blood
and keep hold of the moment
where at last you begin your journey.

                 No lover’s arms around you, no baggage
receive it, it’s only sleep
                                            and that’s enough.

Previously published in Poemas de la izquierda erotica (1973)

#9

Como me gusta
esta piel que me acompaña a todas partes!
Hace ya unos años que la llevo.

Me ha durado. Es Buena.
Mezcla perfecta de indio y europeo
olorosa a pan Moreno.

Ya sé
yo no debiera hablar de ella
pero sucede que es la única que tengo.
Me encierra toda
me limita y me une al universe
es húmeda y oscura
recubierta de vello.

Algún dÍa
–si no muero antes
y estalla prematura–
estará cubierta con arrugas
con manchas, con despigmentaciones.

Y cada huella será el recuerdo de estos días
bajo el sol, bajo los besos.
Movediza y libre
bandera de este pueblo autónomo
que me funciona adentro.

_____________________________
Oh, how I love
this skin that comes with me everywhere I go!
I’ve been wearing it now
for some years.

It’s lasted. It’s good.
Perfect blend of Indian and European
redolent of brown bread.

I know
I shouldn’t talk about it,
but it happens to be the only one I have.
It encloses me completely,
it limits me and it unites me with the universe
it is moist and dark,
covered with soft fuzz.

One day
–that is if I don’t die first
and it breaks open too soon—
it will be covered with furrows,
stained, discolored.

And every mark will recall these days,
under the sun, under the kisses.
Loose-fitting and free,
banner of the autonomous
nation that lives within me.

Previously published in Poemas de la izquierda erotica (1973)

Ana Maria Rodas (b. 1937) published her first book of poems in 1973. In 1990, she received an honorable mention from the Juegos Florales Hispanoamericanos, a literary contest. In 2000, she was awarded the Guatemala National Prize in Literature. Her books have been translated into German, English, and Italian. On September 9, 2017, she was named Illustrious Person for her contribution to universal literature, a recognition granted during the San Carlos University of Guatemala’s three-hundredth anniversary.  She has also been a Guatemalan government official, most recently as Minister of Culture and Sports (2015-2016).  

Christopher Hirschmann Brandt is a writer and political activist. Also a translator, carpenter, furniture designer, theatre worker. He teaches poetry and Peace and Justice at Fordham University. His poems and essays have been published abroad in, among others, Laterál (Barcelona); El signo del gorrión (Valladolid); Liqueur 44 (Paris); La Jornada (Mexico); and in the US in Poiesis, Syndic, …and Then, Phati’tude, Appearances; The Unbearables; National Poetry Magazine of the Lower East Side and the anthologies Crimes of the Beats (Unbearables), Classics in the Classroom (Teachers and Writers) and Off the Cuffs: Poetry by and About the Police (Soft Skull, ed. Jackie Sheeler). His translations of Cuban fiction have been published in The New Yorker and by Seven Stories Press, and translations of two volumes of Carmen Valle’s poetry by the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (San Juan). Seven Stories published his translation of Clara Nieto’s Masters of War, a history of U.S. interventions in Latin America.