Andrea Cote - Poems


The Snack

Also remember, María,

four in the afternoon

in our scorched port.

Our port

that was more a stranded bonfire

or a wasteland

or a lightning flash.

Remember the burning ground,

us girls scratching the earth’s back

as if to disinter the green meadow.

The lot where they were serving the snack,

our plate brimming with onions

salted by my mother,

fished by my father.

But despite all that,

you know well,

we would have liked to invite God

to preside at our table,

God but without a word

without miracles

and only so you would know,

María,

that God is everywhere

as well as in your plate of onions

although it makes you cry.

But above all

remember me and the wound,

before they grazed from my hands

in the wheatfield of onions

to make from our bread

the hunger of all our days

so that now

that you no longer remember

and the bad seed feeds the wheatfield of the missing

I discover you, María,

which is not your fault

nor the fault of your forgetting,

for this is the time

and this its task.

House of Stone

Common

dull

and upset

was the gesture

as we turned our back on my father’s house of stone

to wave floral skirts

of light

in our desiccated port.

For the first time

and without a nanny

we followed the afternoon’s arcade,

all to avoid seeing

my father’s hands of stone

darkening it all,

catching it all,

his words of stone

and hail

raining in the garden of drought.

And we in flight toward whitened streets

a midday spectacle

and them repeating

in the stone doorway:

fourteen years old,

short skirt,

red unworn shoes.

We were in musical desire

luxuriant

and juggling,

before the shiny sidewalk,

before we’re standing still

and have no voice

to see the desolate image,

the ruin.

So the silence,

not the bustle of the days,

crosses over.

The silence,

which is there are thirty-three coffins

empty and white.

Broken Port

If you knew that outside the house,

tied to the shore of the broken port,

there is a river burning

like the sidewalks.

That when it touches land

it’s like a desert collapsing

and carries lit grass

so that it will climb the walls,

although you may believe

that the wall disturbed by the vines

is a miracle of the dampness

and not of the water’s ashes.

If you knew

that the river is not of water

and doesn’t carry boats

or lumber,

only tiny algae

grown in the chest

of sleeping men.

If you knew that the river flows

and that it’s like us

or like everything that sooner or later

has to sink into the earth.

You don’t know,

but I saw it once: