Three Poems
MARGARITA RÍOS-FARJAT
translated by MATTHEW BRENNAN
La sombra

Vigilo mi sombra
           el oscuro refugio
sugerente silueta de silencio negro
de caricia en guardia.
Mi sombra a un lado se alarga
descubre al sol sobre mi rostro
o repasando entretenido
           mi contorno.
Y lo dejo
y mi sombra lo sabe.
Y mi sombra lo ama
           me lo dice
confidente.
Mientras más sol ella más larga.
           O más honda.
Y mi sombra a un lado
me alarga
en el mundo.
           O me ahonda.
Y mi sombra a un lado
se alegra en el sol
           y le sonríe
aunque yo no lo distinga.
Me gusta mi sombra por delante
y el dedo del sol sobre mi nuca.
Y cuando sé, con los ojos asomados a la luz,
que mi sombra
           atrás
aguarda. O cuando
           discreta
se hace leve en días nublados
y aligera pensamientos y fantasmas.

Pero no se aleja nunca
y cuando se vaya me llevará con ella
me lo dice
           sin rodeos.
Nos iremos juntas –me susurra.
Mientras tanto ella me espera
dócil
           y acechante.
Y le sonrío.
           Y la vigilo.
Sí, yo vigilo mi sombra
esa ración de noche y lado oscuro.
Vigilo su resguardo de misterios
           la tinta negra de mi historia
lo que pongo bajo llave
           y lo que a veces no me gusta
lo que a veces olvido
           o finjo que olvido:
ella todo lo atesora
           compasiva.
Lo ordena y lo acaricia.
Mi sombra
callado registro de perdiciones
y resplandores y secretos al oído.
           Mi sombra
sutil espejo del paso del tiempo
sutil recordatorio de mi naturaleza
           luminosa.







Acaso

Acaso la mirada atenta de la noche
acaso estos ojos incrustados en umbrales irreversibles
estas manos descifrando la orilla de algún sueño
Acaso yo
habitante de un sueño que no es mío
habitante de las venas del viento entre la noche
y de la sangre caliente de los pájaros al alba
ternura de alas entre espinas rojas
ternura resguardada tras la uña protectora de la luna
ternura entre las manos imposibles de las rosas

Acaso yo
habitación huérfana de geografía
habitación peñasco
viento rasgado en la garra del tiempo
yo            viento de águila            habitación de viento
con la ternura y las manos libres
y los ojos atrapados en umbrales sin certeza
y es la mirada demasiado atenta
y esa puerta abierta para no dejar entrar a nadie
para la duda que cruza
cosiendo los ojos con hilo de ternura inmóvil
sembrándose entre sombras y siluetas ya pasadas
tendiendo lazos a los pies del porvenir
La mirada demasiado atenta
La puerta de la duda
esa puerta abierta mía que me come
tanto pensamiento envuelto en aire
tanto tiempo con la ternura y las manos libres
mirando el umbral intransitable
clavándole mis ojos







Chamán

El chamán le dijo “eres tú misma”
y sacó de su boca una piedrita,
un pequeño cuarzo blanco.
Le habló de energías detenidas,
de ríos internos buscando su cauce,
ríos revueltos y estancados.
Indígena del alto cerro mexicano
sabe cosas de alta vida.
En la vida está la magia, lo sabemos,
pero él conoce algunos ritos: es chamán.
La piedra es símbolo, fluyen los ríos.
Mira hondo con los ojos cerrados
y mira también con el tacto
con los ojos sabios de la mano.
La piedra es símbolo: fluye al fin
el ojo calmo del espíritu.

MARGARITA RÍOS-FARJAT (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico): an Attorney at Law with a master’s degree in Tax Law, she was admitted in Mexico in 1996. As a poet, she was a Fellow at the Nuevo Leon Writer’s Centre (1997-1998), and the winner of the following contests: Literatura Universitaria [University’s Literature] (1993), Poesia Joven de Monterrey [Young Poetry of Monterrey] (1997), and Nacional de Ensayo Juridico [National Contest of Juridical Essay] (2000). She is the author of several juridical publications, and two books of poems: Si las horas llegaran para quedarse [If the Hours Would Come To Stay] (1995), and Cómo usar los ojos [How To Use the Eyes] (2010). Her poetry  has appeared in several anthologies in Mexico, and many magazines, some of them of national distribution. She is also a regular Op-Ed contributor to Monterrey’s leading newspaper, El Norte.
MATTHEW BRENNAN (Olympia, WA): Matthew earned his MFA in fiction from Arizona State University. He is a novelist, translator, short-fictionist, and freelance editor, and his short fiction has received several awards and fellowships, including Colgate University's Lasher Prize. More than fifty of his short fictions and literary translations have been published in anthologies and journals, including The Superstition Review, Pure Slush, Fiddleblack, The Eunoia Review, Recess Magazine, Emerge Literary Journal, Per Contra, and the Citron Review. Brennan’s translations of Margarita Ríos-Farjat’s poetry have appeared in Two Lines, So To Speak, Loaded Bicycle, and The Los Angeles Review. A former prose editor for the Hayden's Ferry Review, he remains on staff with the journal as an associate editor, and is an assistant fiction editor with Speech Bubble Magazine. Brennan has done both mission and archaeology work in Latin America. http://matthewbrennan.net
My Shadow

I watch over my shadow
           the dark refuge
seductive silhouette of black silence
of caresses on guard.
My shadow grows beside me
discovers the sun upon my face
who amused traces
           my contour.
And I let him
and my shadow knows it.
And my shadow loves him
           she tells me
in confidence.
The brighter the sun the longer she is.
           Or deeper.
And my shadow beside me
           makes me longer
upon the earth.
           Or makes me deeper.
And my shadow beside me
rejoices in the sun
           and smiles at him
though I cannot see her smile.
I like having my shadow ahead of me
and the finger of the sun above my neck.
And when I know, with my eyes open to the light,
that my shadow
           behind me
awaits. Or when
           discreet
she is mild on cloudy days
and lightens thoughts and ghosts.

But she never goes away
for when she leaves she will take me with her
she tells me
           outright.
We will go together – she whispers.
Meanwhile she awaits me
docile
           and lies in wait.
And I smile at her.
           But I watch over her.
Yes, I watch over my shadow
that ration of night and the dark side of me.
I watch over the mysteries she treasures
           the dark ink of my history
what I keep under lock and key
           what at times I do not like
what at times I forget
           or pretend that I forget:
she treasures everything
           with compassion.
She records and classifies
           but she caresses all.
My shadow
silent record of loss
of sunlight and secrets to the ear.
           My shadow
subtle mirror of time’s passage
subtle reminder of my nature,
           in light.






Perhaps

Perhaps the night’s attentive gaze
perhaps these eyes embedded in one-way thresholds
these hands deciphering the shore of a dream
Perhaps I
inhabitant of a dream that is not mine
inhabitant of the wind’s veins within the night
and the hot blood of the birds at dawn
tenderness of wings between red thorns
tenderness protected beneath the fingernail of the moon
tenderness between the impossible hands of the roses

Perhaps I
room orphan of geography
room in a boulder
wind torn on time’s claw
I            wind of eagle            room of wind
with the tenderness and the free hands
and the eyes trapped on uncertain thresholds
and it is the obsessive gaze
and that door open so as not to let anyone in
only for the doubt that crosses in
sewing the eyes with thread of static tenderness
sown between dreams and silhouettes from the past
tying knots around the future’s feet
The too-attentive gaze
The door of doubt
that open door of mine that eats me
so much thought wrapped in air
so much time with the tenderness and the free hands
gazing at the impassable threshold
riveting my eyes







Shaman

The shaman said “It is yourself”
and took from her mouth a little stone,
a small white quartz.
He spoke of imprisoned energies,
of internal rivers seeking their channel,
rivers turbulent and stagnant.
Native of the Mexican highland
he knows things of life up high.
Life itself is the magic, we know,
but he knows certain rituals: he is a shaman.
The stone is a symbol, rivers flow.
He sees deeply with eyes closed
and also with touch,
with the wise eyes of his hands.
The stone is a symbol: at last it flows
the steady eye of the spirit.