Jnak’oj ta sk’al ko’tak jts’uj ak’obal
noch’ol xkukavetik ta xokon jsat xchi’uk jnekeb,
ox-vo’ viniketik chamenxa la ta smul,
vu’une mu jna´mi jech li a’yejaletike
ja’ no’ox jk’ejoj ta jun muk’ ta kaxa li tseke.
Between my legs I hide a droplet of night
on my cheek and shoulder they linger like fireflies,
the shades of three lovers,
I’m not sure a mark can really bring darkness
but for now my mole is hidden in a coffer.1
Jchamantik asat, me’
yu’un ta jk’el ka’i spukujil antsetik.
yu’un ta jkavta ka’i tas malem k’ak’al sbi jtot.
mi yal li sikil akubale, k’uk’un chlik jbots’ li ixime,
ta jchuchbe sk’ak’al li k’ok’e, jpis jsat.
va xanavkun ta yut chobtik, ba jvulan kanimatak, ba’ kejlikun ta ch’ul na.
Avokoluk, jchamantik asat, ave, ak’ob, abok
yu’un mujk’an jel jkuxlejal.
Mama, I need your eyes
to see our wickedness.
I need your mouth,
to shout my father’s name in the afternoon.
I need your hands,
to knead nixtamal, stir up the fire, make the sign of the cross.
I need your feet,
to walk across the corn fields, visit our dead and dance.
Dear mother, it is urgent, I need your eyes, mouth, hands and feet
so I don’t forget we are rooted in the moon.
Mu’kun slumal jtotik
ta jlumale ch’abal bu mukul smixik viniketik
ta jlumale ch’abal buch’o las kuch skurus
ta jlumale ch’abal to’ox buch’o laj yuts’inta xchi’il ta vok’el
mu’yuk to’ox boch’o la sko’oltas sba ta kaxlan
ta jlumale abektal ta kopal yik to’ox tilil, pom, tsij uch.
Jna’oj to lek
ta a-lumale xch’unik to’ox mantal li tsebetike
xkuchik to’ox si’ li viniketike
li me’el-moletik sna’ojik to’ox sk’anel vo’
li jme’e sna’ to’ox smetstael xchinal jsat
vu’une jna’oj to’ox jk’ejba lok’el ta be
kucha’al xjelav juntotik-junmetik.
Ja’ jech, chvulto ta jol
ja’ to’ox avutsilal, k’alal mu’yuk to’ox achanoj kaxlan k’op.
I am not the land of the sun
men’s umbilical cords do not lie on my land.
no one carried a cross on my land
never did a brother threaten another on my land
no one wanted to be mestizo
on my land odors of incense, bay leaf and orange blossoms wafted from your body
young girls were diligent
men carried firewood
old men knew to ask for water.
my mother remembered the spell to cure a rash
as a girl I would often step from the road to make space
for an elderly uncle to walk.
Yes, I still remember your grandeur
you had it then, before speaking Spanish.
1 Some Tzotzil believe that a certain mole, when found on a woman’s body, can cause the death of her lover or spouse. This belief, and the word for that particular birthmark (tzek), is fading from use.
Translated by Clare Sullivan
Enriqueta Lunez was born in San Juan Chamula, Chiapas. Her road to poetry began in the state of Sinaloa. Far from the town of her birth, she began to write Tajimol Ch’ulelaletik / Juego de Nahuales (2008). As a grant recipient of the National Fund for Culture and the Arts (FONCA) she wrote Sk’eoj Jme’tik U / Cantos de Luna (2013). Her poems have been translated to Italian, German, English, French and Serbian.
Clare Sullivan is an Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of Louisville, where she teaches poetry and translation. She received a 2010 NEA Translation Grant to work with Natalia Toledo’s poetry. The resulting work, The Black Flower and Other Zapotec Poems (Phoneme Media, 2015), was short-listed for the Best Translated Book Award. Her translation of Alejandro Tarrab’s Litane is forthcoming from Cardboard House Press.
Table of Contents
- ESSAY: "Cristina Rivera Garza: Poetics of the Border" by Sarah Booker and Aviva Kana
- FICTION: "Never Trust a Woman that Suffers" by Cristina Rivera Garza
- FICTION: "Spí Uñieey Mat" by Cristina Rivera Garza
- FICTION: "There is also Beauty in Alienation" by Cristina Rivera Garza
- FICTION: "The Hostage" by Cristina Rivera Garza
- ESSAY: "From Kechurewe to Standing Rock: Indigenous Literature in Latin American Literature Today" by Arthur Dixon
- POETRY: Two Poems by Elicura Chihuailaf
- POETRY: Three Poems by Leonel Lienlaf
- POETRY: Two Poems by Graciela Huinao
- POETRY: Three Poems by Enriqueta Lunez
- POETRY: Three Poems by Hubert Matiúwàa
- INTERVIEW: "The Blue World": A Conversation between Sergio Rodríguez Saavedra and Elicura Chihuailaf
- INTERVIEW: "The Women Who Want to Speak": A Conversation with Enriqueta Lunez by Luz María Lepe Lira
- INTERVIEW: Language as Alliance: A Conversation with Hubert Matiúwàa by Osiris Gómez
- "Some Observations on the Present Collection" by Ismael Gavilán
- Three Poems by Christian Formoso
- Three Poems by Marcelo Pellegrini
- Three Poems by Marcelo Guajardo Thomas
- Three Poems by Gladys González
- Three Poems by Rodrigo Arroyo
- Three Poems by Julieta Marchant
- Two Poems by David Preiss
- Three Poems by Diego Alfaro
- Los trabajos y los días by Elvira Hernández
- Nombres propios by Sergio Rodríguez Saavedra
- Bosque negro by Reina María Rodríguez
- El ciego y los tuertos by Braulio Fernández Biggs
- Roberts Pool Twilights / Roberts Pool Crepúsculos by Roger Santiváñez
- Sophie La Belle and the Miniature Cities / Sophie La Belle y las ciudades en miniatura by Gisela Heffes
- "Una selección personal / A Personal Selection" by Juan José Arreola
- Una casa junto al río (Antología) by Clemente Riedemann
- Crude Words: Contemporary Writing from Venezuela by Montague Kobbé, Katie Brown, and Tim Girven
- Super Extra Grande by Yoss