The Awakening by Alejandra Pizarnik

                   To León Ostrov

The cage has morphed into a bird
And has taken wing
And my heart is mad
For it howls at death
And smiles from behind the wind
At my delirium

What am I to do with fear
What am I to do with fear

Light dances no longer in my smile
Nor do seasons burn doves in my ideations
My hands have despoiled themselves
And have gone where death
Teaches the dead to live

Air punishes me for being
Behind the air there are monsters
Drinking of my blood

Disaster is nigh
It’s the time of full void
It’s time to bolt the lips
And hear the wretched growl
As I muse all my names
Hung in nothingness

I am twenty years old
And so are my eyes
And yet they say nothing

I have consummated my life in but an instant
The last innocence has burst
Now is never or never more
Or is it?

How come I don’t commit suicide in front of a mirror
And vanish only to resurface at sea
Where a liner would wait for me
Decked out in lights?

How come I don’t pull out my veins
And make them into a ladder
For me to escape to the other side of night?

The beginning has given birth to the end
Everything will stay the same
The worn-out smiles
The selfish interest
Questions of stone in stone
The gestures that mimic love
Everything will stay the same

But my arms still long to embrace the world
For they have not been taught
That time has run out

Jettison the coffins off my blood

I remember my childhood
When I was already an old woman
Flowers died in my hands
Because the wild dance of joy
Had ravished their hearts

I remember the black sunny mornings
A child I was then
That is, yesterday
That is, centuries away

The cage has morphed into a bird
And has devoured my hopes

The cage has morphed into a bird
What am I to do with fear

Texto: "The Awakening", from Las aventuras perdidas (1958), Alejandra Pizarnik. Translation by Juan Ribó Chalmeta and Irina Urumova.
Foto: Laura Makabresku.

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