End of the Rope

{Widow number 8 sings}

1

He crawls like a tree branch, on the wet surface. Transpires one brimstone. Water crystals in the snout.

2

He is looking for food. Leftovers of smell which are rope, which are memory. The life of a town, in front of the candle and the portrait on the chest of drawers.

3

The helmet hangs in the gnawed wardrobe. I cry, because I think of you trapped. Deafened.

4

600º C wave. Expansion. 2.5 kilometers. Asphyxia. You. Kneeled. You carry the shovel. The light bulb blinks. Black hands.

5

The hen broth and the beans await. Unburied. The table is in mourning. I bury the crossed knives so that the wind carries the rain away.

6

Saponified. Sunken. Useless. Lumps to order that should have been forgotten. Insomniac heat. 2:30 am.

7

Helicopter vultures. They sentenced the faceless children to death. Viscous event that didn’t perechó2.

8

In the middle of the night, I wake up, startled by your nightmares. Dreams I beg. Shreds.

9

Slitted tights, and all around, women thread a tableau of prayers. Blankets on guard. 10 Fenced by demolition. Area of risk. Miner 4, miner 2, second entrance, reported concentration. The pulleys remain dirty.

11

Gray smoke, gray mortality. Gray cloudy rails. We remember them, when a country buried them without a corpse.

12

Generation after generation, the grandfathers harvested metals, while the unions soaped their skins with calabash.

13

Miners or soldiers of a war in sepia. Empty alcohol under their arms. From their canteens, they licked seconds.

14

Frozen busboys of the earth. Worth less than beasts. February 19, 2006. 6:00 am.

15

The air wouldn’t be. Stop breathing. Survive. Epitaphs for the missing. Gante in his funeral. Wheat for the widows.

16

100 Orphans. And the anguish that silences nothing. Blue helmets. And they wonder, where are the widows? Three years later.

17

When a fire presses, again, against our breast, nothing quiets. For you, the live ones, the 65.

18

4:14 am. I get up just to boil water for you, only to return to your ciénaga3 arms.

19

But that dying dog dragging itself by the tail, but this silence, but these stained sheets scuff the scar.

20

And, at a sinister hour of dawn, I ask myself, when will you find my end? No more stones. Bones.

21

The Fates seal willow kisses, to raise them from the dead, wrapped in looks and white petals.

22

They pronounce their names, among Sabinas and stars, on St. John’s Day: Javier Perez Aguilar, Amado Rosales Hernandez, Jesus Morales Boone, and 62 miners more.

23

The voice is the end of the rope.

COLLECTIVE EPITAPH

 Javier Pérez Aguilar  Amado Rosales Hernández  Jesús Morales Boone  Lauro Olacio Zarazu  Jesús Cortez Ibarra  Tomás Patlán Martínez  Fermín Tavares Garza  Juan Antonio Cruz García  Juan Ramón Barrientos Gloria  Jesús Armando Rodríguez Torres  José Guadalupe García Mercado  Guillermo Iglesias Ramos  Adrián Barboza Álvarez  José Luis Calvillo Hernández  Óscar Javier Cerda Espinoza  José Ángel Guzmán Franco  Roberto Zapata González  Jesús Alberto de León Camarillo  Mario Alberto Ruiz Ramos  Pedro Doñez Posada  Ricardo Hernández Rocha  Jorge Bladimir Muñoz Delgado  Juan Fernando García Martínez  Hugo Ramírez García  Juan Arturo Salazar Olvera  Juan Antonio Cárdenas Limán  Feliciano Vázquez Posada  Gil Rico Montelongo  Rolando Alcocer Soria  Roberto Guerrero Ramírez  Ignacio Hernández López  Jorge Antonio Moreno Tovar  Jesús Álvarez Flota  Juan Manuel Rosas Hernández  Agustín Botello Hernández  Ignacio Campos Rosales  José Alfredo Ordóñez Martínez  Margarito Zamarron Alfaro  Gilberto Ríos Salazar  José Armando Castillo Moreno  Isidoro Briseño Ríos  Felipe de Jesús Torres Reyna  Pablo Soto Nieto  Margarito Cruz Ríos  Raúl Villasana Cantú  Eliud Valero Valero  Guillermo Ortiz Mora  Juan Martín Gómez Martínez  Mauro Antonio Sánchez Rocha  Reyes Cuevas Silva  José Manuel Peña Saucedo  Jesús Viera Armendáriz  José Eduardo Martínez Baltasar  Gregorio Rangel Ocura  Julián Martínez Ojeda  Ernesto de la Cruz Sánchez  Mario de Jesús Cordero Arévalo  José Porfirio Cibrián Mendoza  José Ramón Hernández Ramos  Juan Raúl Arteaga García  Luis Jorge de Hoyos Márquez  José Alfredo Silva Contreras  Jorge Arturo Ortega Jiménez  Arturo García Díaz  José Isabel Mijares Yáñez

The author believes she heard this word in a song, some Italianized form of Argentinian Spanish, or maybe she made it up, but in her mind this word means something like grow, or mature.
Ciénaga means marshland, swamp or bog, words which don’t have the sound of the original Spanish, so I decided to leave it.
 
* Traducción al inglés de Pilar R. Aranda, para bigbridge.org/

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