Nemir Matos-Cintrón

Translated from the Spanish by Joseph E. Brockway

They Stole My Body

They stole my body
I San Juan Whore
I Lesbian Nun
I sterile Woman
          population zero
mother of twenty children
badly paid worker
They stole my body

They mutilated my breasts
my womb
my face
my senses
my earthen beauty

I perfect woman
Shaven woman heelsrequiredwoman
avonlipped and clairolhaired
They stole my body and sold my soul
to Cosmopolitan
to haute couture          to Wall Street
and molded me in the image and likeness
of the feminine woman virginal woman the womanwoman
repressed woman ofthehouse woman ofthestreet woman druggedout woman
and they raped me because
"in the end that's what all women want"

Your Absence Is an Empty Space

Your absence is an empty space
open for the return
where your body is a formation of birds
flocking from the north to the Orinoco
where my skin is a drum beating your name

Nemir Matos-Cintrón is a queer writer born on November 19 in Puerto Rico. She has published four books of poetry: Las Mujeres no hablan así, dealing with lesbian love; A través del Aire y el Fuego, pero no del Cristal (1981), a collection of early poetry; El Arte de Morir (2010), an homage to friends who died from AIDS; and Aliens in NYC (2011), portraits of immigrant life in the big city. She is working on As time goes by, a new poetry collection on queer love and the passage of time.

Joseph E. Brockway is a poet, translator, and Spanish professor working on a Ph.D. in Studies of Literature and Translation at the University of Texas at Dallas. He likes to experiment with language and ideas that explore the human psyche, existence, and collective myth. He is currently translating Island Mythical Coffer by Spanish surrealist Eugenio Fernández Granell, and his writings and poetry have recently been published in LeHigh Valley VanguardThe Rising Phoenix ReviewDirty ChaiFull of CrowReunion: The Dallas Review, and Surreal Poetics.

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