City by Astrid Velasco Montante

Ignacio Oliden

CIUDAD

La huella desierta, desandada,
atisba un brote vegetal
en la grieta.

Cada calle que reconozco sesga el recuerdo
que juega al teatro de sombras
con la delicadeza de mis ojos.

Su mapa obliga mi certeza:
soy su habitante, su sueño helado de edificios
con terrazas magníficas para ocultar secretos.

Las plazas me llevan de los olvidos a los amores,
a los rincones que permitieron el despojo de cuerpos
y las delicias del sudor.

Me presta su silueta de vuelo
y el gris se yergue en el horizonte
como un síntoma de tormenta.

La ciudad rubrica las trayectorias de hombres y aves,
los pasos que perdieron su número
entre los pirules de la infancia y los cafés deslavados de rostros.

Incansable, su persistencia es el momento en que la memoria
guardó la plaza entre el marco de los dedos,
como si la fotografiara,
aquella cuadra que olía a tierra seca
y la construcción que parecía naufragio en medio de la avenida.

La ciudad es un canto de miserias,
lleva mi sombra en cada recodo,
oculta su sed, es primavera que muerde su cola de invierno,
hojarasca que tritura nombres bajo los pies,
es sueño de olas.


CITY

The deserted print, retraced,
glances a sprout
in the crack.

Each street I recognize slants the memory
which plays like a shadow puppet
with the fragility of my eyes.

Its map forces mi certainty:
I am its inhabitant, its cold dream of buildings
with splendid terraces for hiding secrets.

The parks take me from the oblivions to the loves,
to the corners that allowed the dispossession of the bodies
and the delights of sweat.

It lends me its flight silhouette
and the grey raises in the horizon
like the symptom of a storm.

The city traces the paths of men and birds,
the steps that lost their number
among the childhood candies
and the cafes washed out by faces.

Unflagging, its persistence is the moment in which memory
saved the park inside a hand frame,
like a photograph,
the block with earthy smell
and the building site that looked like a shipwreck in the avenue.

The city is a song of miseries,
it contains my shadow in every turn,
it conceals the thirst, it is a spring that bites its own winter tail,
a leaf litter that crushes names under the steps,
it is a dream of waves.


Astrid Velasco Montante (Ciudad de México, 1970) is an editor and writer. She has a degree in Hispanic Language and Literature from the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, UNAM. Currently, she is Coordinator of Publications at the Center for Research on North America (CISAN), of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and teaches in the Master's Degree in Editorial Design and Production at UAM-X. She has published short stories, poetry and articles in various magazines in Mexico and Latin America, such as Nexos, Ciudad de Historias (México: Ficticia), Voices of Mexico, Casa Bukowski Internacional, among others, and in literary anthologies in Mexico, Spain and the United States. The most prominent are Antología de teatro y poesía (Mexico: Santillana, 2006), in In Our Own Words. A Generation Defining Itself (North Carolina: MW Enterprises, 2010) and Días de sol (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Poéticos, 2006). This 2022, she has published Un espejo que mira hacia dentro, from where 'City' was extracted.

Ignacio Oliden

Ignacio Oliden is a poet, critic, editor, and translator born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He writes and edits for La Piccioletta Barca, Buenos Aires Poetry, and the Culture Suplement of Diario Perfil.

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