You Are More Than Two Breasts, My Companion

For my beloved wife Alma
and all those valiant women who cling to life

You are more than two breasts, my companion.
You are more than your self reduced to sizes and shapes,
store-window dummies or magazine covers touting the latest styles;
you are more than that body reflected in others’ eyes.

The sting of the zodiac ―silent reaper―
sign of that disease that discreetly wields death’s sickle
underestimated your caliber,
failed to understand the essence that defines you
beyond all stature and measurement:
You are the miracle of life, the luminous devotion
that nourishes the house, the ceaseless footstep
of the spirit in possession of
everything that serves to build a home.

You are woman, lover, mother,
the very fiber of life that produces every spring.

The evil of cancer could not
rob you of your essence, my comrade;
she that you were, you are,
multiplied, entire.

You are the banner that halted
the river of evil and left it lifeless;
the rampart of days denied to death;
victorious woman, you rose up
full of greater life, determined;
you buried your griefs
and since then, wholesome dancing grapevine,
you are a woman whose face is to the sun,
contender and pace-setter among the many who walk with you,
living witness sustained by faith,
simply giving praise,
day by day giving praise,
undeterred from the Way, the Truth, and the Life
that sweetly flows from the hem of His robe.

TR rpe

Del libro The Man Who Left/El hombre que se fue Books&Smith, 2017 -Translated into English by Rhina Espaillat


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