Despiertas el deseo de mi lenguaje / You awaken the desire for my language

By Loretta Lopez

Urban Systems Lab
Apr 21 · 6 min read
Ana Sofia Remis

Bienvenida

Las Marías llegan a la ciudad
llena de trampas
ciudad que convierte ambiciones
en tus asesinos lentos
que convierte tiempo escurridizo
en noches despiertas
Un infierno oscuro
pero adiamantado
con población de inagotable
pero frágil paciencia
Ciudad de la que todos
se quieren adueñar
porque se sienten
uno solo
y si uno está solo
necesita lo suyo
La Marías llegan
y la ciudad les extiende
su mano plateada
pero luego
indecisa
la retira

Welcome

The Marias arrive at the city
full of traps
city that turns ambitions
into your slow assassins
that turns slippery time
into open-eyed nights
An inferno both dark
and diamond-encrusted
with a population whose patience
is both inexhaustible
and fragile
City who everyone
wants to own
because they feel
so alone
and if a person feels alone
they need something that’s theirs
The Marias arrive
and the city extends
its silver hand
but later
indecisive
withdraws it

Ana Sofia Remis and Michaela Manzieri

Al Perro Rulfo

Herido llegaste
negro terciopelo
lleno de relámpagos
no descansabas
con esos sueños
calles neón
pero pasaron los años
Ahora te encuentro
acostado bajo el sol
finalmente exhausto
Es así que puedo verme
reflejada en tu mirada

Al Perro Rulfo II

Perro negro
sobre la azotea
bajo la luna
con ojos rojos
y pene erecto
Tu madre no fue animal
fue la Santa Muerte

To Rulfo the Dog

You came wounded
black velvet
full of lightening
you couldn’t sleep
with those dreams
of neon streets
but the years passed
Now I find you
lying in the sun
finally exhausted
That’s the way I can see myself
reflected in your gaze

To Rulfo the Dog II

Black dog
on top of the roof
under the moon
with red eyes
and an erect penis
Your mother was no animal
No, she was la Santa Muerte

Mujer en el Tren

Tus ojos todavía están despiertos
pero hay ligeras arrugas
(como el paréntesis
que enmarca tus labios)
que delatan que estás
aquí
a la mitad
de tu vida

Woman on the Train

Your eyes are still bright
but you have faint wrinkles
(like the parentheses
that surround your lips)
which betray that you’re
here
halfway
through your life

Ana Sofia Remis

Jaime, 8 años, Central Park

Fue en la infancia
que aprendió cómo ser estatua
revirtió los ojos y
encontró un lugar cerca del sueño
pero aún lejos
Ahí no era Jaime
(peleonero, fuerte, enfadoso, chistoso)
era un cuerpo que sentía sol
y tenía ganas de quedarse quieto

Jaime, 8 years old, Central Park

It was during childhood
that he learned how to be a statue
he turned his eyes and
found a place near the dream
but still far away
There he wasn’t Jaime
(petulant, strong, annoying, funny)
he was a body that felt the sun
and the urge to remain still

Mexicano en Nueva York

Te veo paisano
aunque tú no me veas
aunque tu meta sea no resaltar
veo tu pelo negro bien peinado
tus jeans prácticos
tu sudadera limpia y barata
tu mirada que absorbe sin personalizar
tu cuerpo que no intenta intimidar
pero que no se asusta con nada
Son tus pensamientos
los más difíciles de leer
te quiero preguntar
Para ti
¿qué es difícil?
¿qué es sufrir?
Pero aquí no viniste
para permitirte
tus propias
definiciones

Mexican in New York

I see you paisano
even though you don’t see me
even though you don’t want to stand out
I see your well-combed black hair
your practical jeans
your clean cheap sweatshirt
your absorbing anonymous gaze
your body that tries not to intimidate
but that isn’t afraid of anything
I want to ask about
your thoughts
that are hardest to read
To you
what is difficult?
what is suffering?
But you didn’t come here
to grant yourself
your own
definitions

Ana Sofia Remis and Michaela Manzieri

Abril

— A mí me encantan los claveles rojos — dijiste
regalándomelos
en la esquina de la 30 y 30th Avenue

Empezó a llover
nos paramos detrás
de tu cortina de plástico
callados
hasta que dijiste
— Es lo que me gusta
de estar aquí —

Los claveles rojos
viven en mi cuarto
brotan del vidrio verde
sorprendiéndome
cada vez que entro
Hay cosas que no dejan
de asombrar

Ahí estás, Herminio
un mexicano
en Nueva York
vendiendo claveles
siete días a la semana

April

“I love red carnations,” you said
giving them to me
on the corner of 30th Street and 30th Avenue

It started to rain
we stood inside
your plastic curtain
silent
until you said
“This is what I love
about being here”

The red carnations
live in my room
sprout from green glass
surprising me
every time I enter
Some things never stop
astonishing

There you are, Herminio
a Mexican
in New York
selling carnations
seven days a week

Ana Sofia Remis and Michaela Manzieri

Alejandra

Despiertas el deseo
de mi lenguaje
cómo crece y madura
el idioma en ti

Yo la pierdo
en países jungla
los ojos verdes de mi amante
este hogar frío
de locos que cuelgan
sueños sobre sus pestañas

Después de escucharte
salgo a la calle
sedienta
hablo con nómadas
el florista
el acomodador de frutas
la que dobla blusas
el guardián de
330 East 79th Street
¿También sentirán ellos
la lengua pesada?

Una voz coqueta
dice– regresa
Es dueña
de este dolor tranquilo
que se asoma cada vez menos
sobre la
americana libertad

Alejandra

You awaken the desire
for my language
the way it grows and matures
inside of you

I lost it
in jungle countries
the green eyes of my lover
this cold house
of psychos who hang
dreams on their eyelashes

After hearing you
I went out into the street
thirsty
I spoke with nomads
the florist
the fruit vendor
the woman who folds blouses
the doorman of
330 East 79th Street
Will they also bear
such heavy tongues?

A coquettish voice
says: go back

She’s the owner
of this tranquil pain
that bleeds through
American freedom
less and less each time

Loretta López is a novelist and poet who writes in Spanish and English. Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Loretta has lived in Texas, Vietnam, and currently resides in NYC. She will graduate this Spring from Columbia University’s School of Social Work and plans to serve the Latino population as a therapist. Her favorite authors are Roberto Bolaño and Virginia Woolf.

Translations by Nick Schiff, a writer of fiction and poetry, and a professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. His work has been previously published by InPatient Press, Ajar Press, Brooklyn College Review, and beyond.

Ana Sofia Remis is a Cuban-American working at the intersection of art, science, and education whose passions lie in interdisciplinary avenues of promoting STEAM engagement for all. Some of her work’s themes include the diluvian future of her hometown, Miami, FL, the parallels between invasive species and diasporic people, and citizen-science based community data collection. Ana graduated from Parsons in 2019 and has worked with various institutions as an educator, designer, and marine invasive species researcher. Ana is interested in technological disobedience, interdisciplinary learning, and science communication. She currently teaches in Reno, Nevada. Commissions, contact, and more at http://www.anasofiaremis.com

Resilience Quarterly

A forum for collaborations to envision more equitable and resilient cities.

Resilience Quarterly

Resilience is a quarterly publication co-produced by the Urban Systems Lab at the New School, providing a unique forum to share strategies in design, data visualization, and interdisciplinary scholarship on urban ecology, environmental justice, and sustainable cities.

Urban Systems Lab

Written by

Research, design, and engagement for more equitable and resilient cities. http://urbansystemslab.com/

Resilience Quarterly

Resilience is a quarterly publication co-produced by the Urban Systems Lab at the New School, providing a unique forum to share strategies in design, data visualization, and interdisciplinary scholarship on urban ecology, environmental justice, and sustainable cities.

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