Image credit: Reem Saad, "Fisheye" : watercolor with invisible active UV paint

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They stole our eyes

 

and now it’s ourselves that are raising these visions.

 

Those women, that we are
all of the sweepers of the tribe, all the mothers without children,
our caretakers.

The ones that get together to liberate the country, and live in the rocks of the south.

 

From Marín to Cangas and beyond,
I try to collect all the stones those women carved,
the slopes of hendecasyllables drowned at sea
(all the possible seas).

 

A day of hugging trees and mestizaxe of hands,
all of us women, covering ourselves in cloths and sulfur
for this shared call.
We don’t fit in the box because we are many and different.
We don’t understand why we speak in another language.

 

Us, the liberating women of nothing
those who need care, and that’s our Motherland.
Us, the maladjusted or very adjusted.

 

They stole our eyes, but we see better now.
Us women, different and beautiful.
Lovers of ourselves,

those women that placed red in the dictionary and then escaped from colors.

 

Us, ourselves…

 

The disfavored lineage
the only possible tribe…

 

 

 

 

 

 

To not look at you is to say: there is no fog; it is balance

 

all my life carrying a gray cloud on the nape of my neck
without being able to read the endings of the stories. 

 

To dispossess myself of you, of what that look entails,
stop running
fall apart, on the street, pieces of me,
and have to consent to your trampling on them.
An ancient cheek, reborn close to the impossible,
but Possible.

 

And I,
a weaver,
the one who jumped out of all the houses and sat on this verse.
The one that spoke out and was left hanging from a sky…
now immense, temperate,
now terrestrial and rhythmic,
weaving myself with a stockinette stitch

 

And I,
already,
weaver of myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What tenacity to lift one’s head
--Ana Romaní

 

 

Not all of us prefer a bird in the hand
Some of us are more two in the bush…

 

 

 

 

 

 

This nostalgia of names and last names

 

outlined itself in each of the walls of this house.

 

You walk to the door and don’t say a thing,
I hold my breath and
my skin hurts from wanting to prolong you…

 

It’s heavy, this traveling love that registers our luggage every two days.

 


Heavy, the hips that I slide from your body,
the children we don’t have ask about you,
I have to name each one of your vertebrae,
each one of your pores rooted in the world
to know about your trips to my playful accent,
about how you pronounce unha- xeonllo- fazula
and hanging from you, a gigantic sign in English,
which I don’t understand,
and I say it doesn’t matter,
that once again we’ll open the window,
and I’ll try to smile while you say “fazula ,”
and I still have red cheeks…

 

How can I explain to you that the story of this country hurts me,
explain to you about not wanting to kneel,
not being ashamed of saying still-free
and I hurry to erase these black stains of humidity,
so it doesn’t seem that something’s wrong.

 

And I carry on with my singsong accent while you come in through the door

and tell me about the world’s disasters

and how big the Amazon Rainforest is.

 

I try to pretend that some of what you say is important
but my skin hurts from wanting to prolong you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My teeth and breast twist on the verge of breaking.

 

When I smoke inertia bends me forward,
toward you.

I’ve never been one to show the wounds of the reverse side of the tongue

 

and now I’m here,
dissident,
opening my mouth as wide as I can.

 

It would be easier to not say,
or to have faith,
but I bend voracious toward the multitude
because I carry many people on my back,
and I’m more naked than you’ve ever seen me.

 

Toward you, I go, little lioness who learned me,
toward you, who loved each one of the screams that I now write,
toward you, who created me woman,
even if I have to open my mouth wide and each wound I carry hurt

 

engraved since birth,
even if the country should break in two,
and we'll never be the same. Nunca máis.
Because now inertia bends me forward
and only in this way, forward.



Original ↓

Roubáronnos os ollos

e agora somos nós mesmas as que remontaremos as visións.

 

Elas, que somos nós
todas as varredoras da tribo, todas as nais sen fillos,
coidadoras de nós.

As que se xuntan para liberar ó país e viven nas rochas do sur.



De Marín a Cangas e mais aló,
tento recoller todas as pedras que elas tallaron,
as vertentes dos endecasílabos que afogaron no mar
(todos os mares posibles).

 

Un día de apertas ás árbores e mestizaxe de mans,
todas nós, envolvéndonos coas teas e o xofre
para este grito conxunto.
Non cabemos na caixa porque somos moitas e diferentes.
Non entendemos porque falamos noutro idioma.

 

Nós, as liberadoras da nada
as que precisamos coidado e levámolo por Mátria.
Nós, as inadaptadas ou adaptadísimas.

 

Roubáronnos os ollos, pero vemos máis, agora.
Nós, diferentes e fermosas.
Amantes de nós mesmas,
as que colocaron vermello no dicionario e logo fuxiron das cores.

 

Nós, nós mesmas...

 

A estirpe discriminada
a única tribo posible...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non mirarte é dicir: non hai néboa, é equilibrio

 

toda a vida levando unha nube gris na miña caluga
sen poder ler os finais dos contos.

 

Desposuírme de ti, do que conleva esa mirada,
xa non correr,
caer pedazos, pola rúa, de min,
e terme que consentir que os foras pisando.
Unha meixela vetusta, que renace preto do imposible,
pero Posible.

 

Tamén eu,
a tecedora,
a que saltou as casas todas e sentei neste verso.
A que falou alto e quedou pendurada dun ceo...
agora inmenso, temperado,
agora telúrico e rítmico,
a tecerme a punto de calceta.

 

Tamén eu,
xa,
tecedora de min.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Que empeño por levantar a cabeza
--Ana Romaní

 

 

Non todas preferimos o paxaro na man
A outras dános polo cento voando...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esta nostalxia de nome e apelidos

 

foise delineando en cada unha das paredes desta casa.

 

Camiñas cara á porta e non dis nada,
eu conteño a respiración e
dóeme a pel de tanto querer prolongarte...

 

pesa este amor viaxeiro que nos rexistra cada dous días a equipaxe.

 

Pesan os cadrís que esvaro do teu corpo,
os fillos que non temos preguntan por ti,
teño que nomear cada unha das túas vértebras,
cada un dos teus poros enraizados no mundo
para saber das túas viaxes cara ao meu acento choutador,
de cómo pronuncias unha - xeonllo - fazula
e colgado de ti un letreiro xigante escrito en inglés
que non entendo,
e eu veña a dicir que non importa,
que por unha vez máis abriremos a xanela,
e tentarei sorrir mentres dis “fazula”,
e eu sigo coas miñas meixelas vermellas...

 

Cómo explicarche que me doe a historia deste país,
explicarche como vai iso de non querer axeonllarme,
de non avergoñarse por dicir aínda-libres
e procuro apresurarme a borrar esas manchas negras de humidade,
para que non semelle que algo vai mal.

 

E sigo co meu acento cantareiro mentres ti entras pola porta,
e contas os desastres do mundo,
e como é de grande a selva amazónica.

 

Eu tento finxir que algo do que dis importa,
pero dóeme a pel de tanto querer prolongarte.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tórcenseme os dentes e o peito a piques de romper.

 

Cando fumo a inercia inclíname cara adiante,
cara a ti.
Nunca fun quen de ensinar as feridas do posdorso da lingua,

 

e agora estou aquí,
disidente,
abrindo a boca o máis que podo.

 

Sería máis fácil non dicir,
ou ter fe,
mais declínome voraz cara a multitude
porque levo moita xente nas costas,
e estou máis espida do que xamais me tes visto.

 

Cara ti vou leonciña, que me aprendiches,
cara ti, que amaches cada un dos berros que agora escribo,
cara ti, que me creaches muller,

aínda que teña que abrir a boca moitísimo e me doa cada ferida que levo

 

inscrita dende que nacín,
aínda que o país quebre en dous,
e xa nunca máis sexamos as mesmas.
Porque agora a inercia inclíname cara adiante
e só así, cara adiante.

 

Translator's Note

These poems by the Galician poet Andrea Nunes Brións are from her second poetry collection, Todas as mulleres que fun (All the Women I Was), a book that is an outcry against immovable and dominating voices. It seeks to question society’s structures and givens, and counteracts the status quo of power dynamics with an exploration of the poet’s own parameters. Nunes Brións’s work, which seems deceptively simple, clearly engages with patriarchy, capitalism, and Galician history. Her poetry embodies what Hélène Cixous advocates for in The Laugh of the Medusa: writing from the self, the female self, and, I might add, the queer self.


Laura Cesarco Eglin

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