Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Packing My Bags

Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Packing My Bags

Article excerpt

"The barbarians are arriving today."

--C. Cavafi

   It's time to think
   about my baggage
   the suitcase is tiny
   my perfumes won't fit
   nor my necklaces
   much less my books.
   What will I take with me
   to the other side?
   Naturally the first
   lightning bolt
   that kindled our love
   I'll also take
   the razor glance
   of that child
   it wasn't for me
   nor for anyone
   blindly it grazed me
   and opened this wound
   that will not close.
   I must be selective
   in my memories
   carefully compressing
   those I pack
   and out of self-compassion
   abandoning the rest.
   I will take with me
   of course
   the afternoon in Cahill's Tavern.
   I told you about Sandino
   and Farabundo
   and you didn't understand
   but wanted to learn
   and little by little
   we wandered into
   the Halls of Los
   and you were William Walker
   and I Rafaela Herrera
   and what was I doing
   amongst the barbarians of the north
   who invaded us
   invade us now
   and will invade again?
   What was I doing
   far from Izalco
   far from my homeland?

   And the night kept falling
   quietly
   and we were there inside
   penetrating ever more deeply
   trapped by our pasts
   by our futures
   and your tongue is foreign
   I barely understand you
   what am I doing here? … 
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