De rompecabezas

March 5, 2017.

For some reason I keep on writing “May” maybe in my desire to get spring here more quickly. Beyond this, also on my mind: yesterday’s bizarre Trump-tweet-storm and the fall out; my first 2017 run in the arb on Friday (some snow and ice, more mud). Today I’m feeling less pain than yesterday, which is always a win. Just in time, too, for a brunch with a few soon-to-graduate seniors.

I’m not really “feeling” the writing today which, I suppose, is the whole point of this practice. I know that writing creatively always, eventually brings me joy, but it’s not always joyful in the moment. I’m thinking this means it’s a good time to experiment.

De rompecabezas

hablo lo inglés matao 
hablo lo español matao 
no sé leer ninguno bien
   - Tato Laviera, "my graduation speech"

Hablo lo español matado; so many words falling away.
--Or maybe they burrow so deep I'll never find them
without a treasure map.

Equis marks the spot.

I could have sworn I used to speak Spanish better. By
which I mean I used to speak it more. By
which I mean I used it more.

¿Dónde está? 
Sometimes my tongue feels clumsy, wrapping around vowels like that.

My primos used to tease me for using complicated words.
You know, cognates.

I remember taking Spanish in college. 
I remember resenting having to take Spanish in college.
I remember feeling like my Spanish was not their Spanish
and it definitely wasn't good enough.

A veces las palabras se me escapan, se me van, 
        se me fueron, ya volaron.

There was a time when I lived in Spanish.
Madrid, oh Madrid. How you laughed at my words!
I sounded old fashioned to you. 
Me puse de moda. I wore your words.

Mi abi Gela passed away when I was fourteen. I still have
some of her words, typed on onion paper. 
Quién sabe dónde las tengo; las guardé como un tesoro.

My family is a family of translators, sliding back and forth
between languages, making sure there is no purity in either.

Mi español--perdido como es, perdida como soy--falls from my mouth
    in drops of hope.
Dime qué hablas, y te diré quien eres.
I speak un español de rompecabezas y un inglés inventado;
I belong to neither.

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