I belong to a race of women with biodegradable hearts.
When one of us dies her dead body is displayed
in public parks, the children come to pry in her tin
throat, to celebrate her with flies and worms,
I’m so sad. She made me smile, so I didn’t like her.
Exactly thirty days after her death the body of this extraordinary race
self destructs, and the soulful remains of these supernatural women
call at the doors of your houses, they crash into your walls,
their fillings and fingernails make holes in your windows
until our aortas bleed nailed to the earth, like roots.
When we die they open our stomachs, their fingers examine our insides,
they search through our viscera for the treasure map,
pulling out fingers soaked black from poems that remained inside us for years.
I belong to a race far beyond the pulpits. I am one of them because my heart
stains when hands hold it, because it is about the same size as
the hole of a tomb; fresh and sweet
like an animal, suck on my heart so, at death, it is known
that we have been together.
I am one of them because my heart will be fertilizer.
Because my blood, which is hers, goes up and down my cadaver like an escalator;
because the foundation of my character, when it decomposes, joins a wild species
that barks, that wounds, that takes you
to its terrain, that ignores insults, that will never go out.
Translated by Emily Vizzo and Curtis Bauer
You can read and listen to the poem in the original Spanish here.