Short Fiction by Glafira Rocha


He took a breath, couldn’t get out, double lock ¿where could he have left them? return to the room, see the wife on the bed, crumple the letter and throw it on the floor ¿and the keys? common spots, cluster of keys, eiffel tower keychain, on top of the table, above the television, maybe inside the closet, probably in the bookcase, close to the lamp, behind the armchair, on top of the toilet bowl, in the shower, surely in the  drawer where the socks are, a moment of reflection, three steps backwards, two to the right, no, under the bed, perhaps in the kitchen, on the stove, inside the refrigerator, between the chairs, the microwave, in the oven, behind the picture frames, in the plate drawer, inside the crystal-cut glasses, inside the living room trunk, sofas, spanish cushions, behind the small plant, in some of the books, don quijote, niebla, the biology of emotions, last round, larousse, maya, diálogos, de fusilamientos, sección amarilla, guiness records, the laundry room, the dryer, a bottle of laundry detergent, nothing, the mirror, the medicine, the perfume, the ring that she lost, the soap, the toothpaste, a barney toothbrush, the ducks in the tub, the kids’ bedroom, the drawings, a shoe, the notebooks, the multiplication tables, the abacus, the chalkboard, the cups of tea, the diaper drawer, the underwear drawer, the toy drawer, the ugly doll, malibu barbie, ken divorced, barbie pregnant, a ten-year-old boy on the floor, hot wheels in his tiny hand, a tiny bruised foot, a tiny finger, a tiny leg, a tiny arm, a tiny head, a tiny puddle of blood, the doorbell, ding dong, the peephole, no one, there’s no time, the keys, the dressing room, the wife’s tallboy, undergarments, the bra, the socks, the thongs, the pajamas, the blouses, a sweater, pick up the letter and reread it, that estranged handwriting, three years, an i love you, an idiot, a dead wife on the bed, her arm, head, dyed hair, curled eyelashes, rouged lips, eyes that no longer see, the doorbell again, the door, the eye, the owner of the letter, the keys, the bathroom, the shower, the tub, the ducks with the girl’s blood, the girl in the tub, the twisted little arm, the little eyes closed, the little neck broken, the doorbell, the doorbell, the eye at the door, the letter’s stranger, the stranger brings the eiffel tower keychain, a hit, three years, the head against the wall, never realizing it, viscous liquid inside the eyes, blindness, a kick, fractured ribs, a chair shattered on the cranium, a dead husband, an outsider  that secures the double locks before leaving.

You’ll Never Be Anything

Ventanas de mi cuarto
De mi cuarto de uno de los millones del mundo que nadie sabe cuál es
(Y si supieran cuál es, ¿Que sabrían?)

Álvaro de Campos, “Tabaquería”

You approach the window, the day doesn’t change for you, finally, the almanac finished counting the time and you observe that the clouds don’t let you confront the sun. You remember your ignominy and slowly like the tiger search for your prey, you don’t see anyone, just yourself, you’ll have to fall on your own claws. You walk from one side to another; you don’t know what you want. As always, you take refuge in books, you try to find the answer, but now they don’t tell you anything. You throw one and you notice that you’ve broken a vase, the only object that your mother bequeathed you. Preoccupied you try to reconstruct it, but the pieces are too miniscule for the glue. You watch the roof for a while, look again through the window, you distract yourself with irrational thoughts. You see a prisoner, yes, the neighbor’s daughter has left for school, her bag is so big that it completely protects her, she leaves and you think about when your father used to take you by the hand to school, you quickly erase that memory, it never should have escaped, much less at this time.

I’m at the window, the sky holds a strange color, I should have never broken my mother’s vase, I never should’ve believed it was a gift. I’ve woken up so early, I’ve seen the clouds, but never the sun. I imagined that for the first time it was there for me, to meet face to face, to blind me and get me to close my eyes. I don’t want to see, I can’t see the same thing every day, the kids walking en route to class, bathed, scented, with that permanent smile which will begin fading without them noticing, like it occurred to me, like it has occurred to all. I hear the noise, so close that it hums ceaselessly, it is an endless beep, nailed day and night, to remind me that I should do it, that I can’t wait another day. Every time I awaken, I verify that everything is prepared and in order, but on approaching the window and seeing that the neighbor’s daughter walks bound to her book bag, it comes to my memory like something impossible to forget, the day in which my father took me by the hand, led me right in front of my teacher, until then my smiled was engraved, he gave me a kiss and remained only as memory. I cannot forget his smile; I do not want to forget that last kiss.

You’re scared, your whole life has transpired around that very recognizable feeling. You retire from the window, you watch the object that will take you out of anonymity, you turn so as to not see it. You look amongst the records for your favorite; you hear it. For the first time you dance, dance without stopping, you do twists and start to see how all things dance with you, how the humming in the ears shuts off, you feel dizzy, you almost vomit, but you repress it to not dishevel the room. Again you position yourself at the window, no one passes by, it seems like on that day they haven’t wanted to go out, all of them have taken shelter in their homes to laugh at you in secret. They’re pondering your death. They’ve assembled at the neighbor’s house and it might be her daughter who will come assassinate you.

I want to dance again; my mother taught me that by dancing the soul liberates itself, everyone believes it is with laughter, but no, laughter is the joke, it’s the ridiculous, the lament, it is the nerve, but never happiness. We all laugh to scoff at the other, to point out their flaws, their ugliness, but never to show them that we are happy by their side. With the dance we navigate in another world, we forget failure and we believe ourselves the best. I want to dance, but I’ve never been a good dancer. That’s what Mami said. I’d rather look through the window again. There she goes, it’s Maria, she’s wearing that blue dress which shows her ass, she loves for everyone to watch her and I can’t stop doing it. Sometimes I think she sees me too, then I seek asylum in the curtains, she smiles and she leaves shaking her behind. ¿Why don’t I have the guts to do it?

Don’t think about it any more, the time has come, they’re all coming, just what you expected, do it, they think it’s the happiest day of their lives, watch them, they all laugh, those tiny people freshly bathed and groomed laugh, they think they’re happy because they go to the museum, are taken to see some stranger’s masterpiece, but they laugh. See how some of them take each other’s hands and say they will be great friends forever. Look, today’s your lucky day, Maria is coming too, the blue dress leaves nothing to the imagination, you think she’s smiling with you when in reality she’s making fun of you. It’s time, just a few more feet until they are directly below and you squash them, let’s go, go to your salvation. The men created her so that you could use her, it is they themselves that wish you to end her existence. Don’t be afraid, just a few more steps and the world shall surrender before you.

I’m perspiring, the sweat has entered my eyes, it doesn’t let me see, my hands don’t respond, I have to do it, I cannot stay another day watching from this window. I can’t find it, I can’t grip it.

Grab it, there it is, beside the window, you placed it there after you woke up, you slept with it, come on, take the gun, you chose the best, with the gun sight, to watch their faces when they fall, to watch them when they plead with you not to do it, to see how they run like ants and hide in their anthill.

They’re walking very fast, I can’t see them, I’m blinded, I see the blue stain and its hipswing, again the humming. I don’t want to do it! ¡You have to do it! ¡I can’t! You’re ready for this. I shouldn’t. Duty doesn’t matter. They’re leaving. It’s still time. I don’t want to. Grab the gun, aim, there’s the neighbor’s daughter, her first. I’m afraid. You can’t be scared now, do it, they’re leaving. They left…. Yes, they’ve left. ¿What do we do? Wait, wait, sleep, sleep, my child, sleep.

Interspersed Signs

I saw everyone’s face. I could tell them…I arrived late because I didn’t want to take a taxi, I know that surely someone will criticize my unpunctuality, but while climbing the stairs and not hearing any noise, I felt uneasy. They don’t know what I’ve been through, you can’t walk two blocks and go back because you forgot the bottle of wine you promised; get it, take a wrong step and break it. They don’t know that to buy the bottle I had to borrow from a friend at the office, they will never know that, but will complain if I don’t arrive early. I’ll have to say the ATM was not working, but I said that last week at José’s birthday party. I’m just going to see him, I know he needs me during these times, now I’d be able to tell him everything. The stairs were silent, I thought surely they were reading their fortunes as we were accustomed to, but a scream made me stop a while, I couldn’t arrive yet without having the perfect lie so they don’t think I’m an idiot for breaking the bottle. Again, another scream. I knocked on the door, I knew what I would say: I’m late ’cause I went to five wineries and I didn’t find Sangre de toro, the best red wine, the only one you can drink on special occasions. No one opens; I knock again, finally Imelda’s pale profile.

Imelda. Went to the bathroom because I had drunk too many diuretics, coffee with rum to be exact. The toilet began to move, it seems someone was in a rush for the bathroom to be unoccupied, but I couldn’t open it, I had to pull my underwear up and to make it worse I noticed them bloodstained. How could I, I stuffed paper, I got up, washed my face and opened, it was Samuel, he wanted to kiss me, but I didn’t keep my balance and a moment in time registered in my memory, then, I went to find some food. Really, I wanted to shed this inebriated state. I started eating a beet patty when I heard the report, the inevitable, our classic I Ching moment. It made me tired that in the middle of the meeting they would read it, but I got close to Mariana and I whispered in her ear ¿Do you have a menstrual pad? She saw me and I saw José’s eyes.

José. From the time I woke up I had a suspicion she would leave me. I sat for some hours, on the park bench in front of her house. I remembered that day she had her weekly meeting. On going in and seeing her, I realized that everything had ended. Samuel was trying to kiss her, but from her drunkenness she refused him; nevertheless, upon seeing me she hugged him. I wanted to leave, hurl myself in front of a car, leap off a bridge, but no, it was better to wait for Roberto. He was the one that could calm me, who always gave order to my rattled head, yes, wait for Roberto and tell him what this bitch was doing to me, wait for Roberto and together drink the Sangre de toro, wait for Roberto. But don’t stand still, come in, come in, Mariana told me.

Mariana. I asked them to be punctual because they always arrive two hours late. It can’t be if they’re your friends they keep you waiting. Since eight in the morning I started cooking the appetizers, I had to surprise them, no one can say they don’t eat well at my parties, so I roasted the beets, I stuffed them with cheese and I left the red juice to accompany it with the rye. I went to get the book and sat in the living room watching the clock. Imelda was first to arrive, her look contorted, I fixed her a coffee and I added a little bit of rum so she could relax, most of all because I knew she would get mad at me once she found out I had invited Samuel without asking her, but she simply took a long sip of coffee and as if to herself said that today was definitely the day, doesn’t matter, she was in love with Samuel.

Samuel. Everything was written, she was the enlightened one, so I called her, I wrote her, I read to her. She seemed lost and I found her. No one invited you, she screamed desperately, but Mariana came to my defense. And so Imelda cried, a long silence and the phrase “Don’t worry, in the end, I’ll stay with you” was the last I heard her say. A moment, the reading and José cast the coins, above Li, The Clinging, the flame, below K’an, The Abysmal, Water. The Wei Chi symbol. Before Completion. Fire above water.

She seems happy, her eyes can’t peel themselves off Samuel. ¿Why doesn’t Roberto come? Don’t touch me Mariana, don’t kiss me, she doesn’t even notice. Eat something, drink something, don’t watch them, they don’t exist, ¿You know? I’ve always loved you ¿Why her and not me? Don’t look at her, Mariana was saying, but then she noticed me retreating on hearing her idiotic chatter, she resigned and said, It’s time to read the oracle, so I took the coins and threw them.

I felt my legs starting to wet themselves with the blood, but it didn’t matter to me. Then, José’s eyes. Before Completion. Again José’s eyes, everything spins, the color red, I thought it might be my blood, it was so excessive that I sloshed in it. Then I knew it wasn’t mine.

Irene’s face was not important, if not seeing her bathed in blood, I was speechless, because even though they think I talk a lot, sometimes I could be silent. I closed the door, Mariana eating, José holding the very expensive knife that I gave him for his birthday, the image of the bottle of Sangre de toro came to mind. José will never know I love him.

I did not see José, nobody could see him, nobody knows why he did it. Imelda whispered something in my ear, I turned to see her and then…I thought it was the beet juice…I think I shouldn’t have invited Samuel.

Samuel. Everything was written. The imminent is as immutable as rigid yesterday, I read a while back on the first few pages of the book.

The Ritual

For the Hernándezes

I’ll miss them. The meetings occurred at least every two weeks, some members of the festivities varied but they were the same. The ritual began with the discovery of the provisions and then with the same talks of politics, of literature, to end with the existential ones. At times i’d become bored, at others i conversed or ended up asleep on the jaguar armchair. ¿Why until now? Toña didn’t respond, directed herself to the bathroom, i verified if they had brought enough beer for the night, but Mama Yenta only filled a quarter of the refrigerator, i thought they probably didn’t want to be wasteful or definitely didn’t have the urge to drink. By phone. Don’t forget to bring beer, i want to get the courage to fill you in. We’ll bring the same as always, Mama Yenta was saying. Toña got out of the bathroom and sat by my side; the house is cute, at least it has two bathrooms, they’re always necessary. The building is too ugly Alberto, besides the neighborhood seems dangerous; nothing will happen, it’s the most economical one we’ve found, also we don’t have an alternative; it has carpet and i don’t like it; we’ll remove it; but we’d have to polish the floors and i don’t have money; i’ll pay for it; that’s fine i already convinced myself because it has two bathrooms. We were on the fourth spin of Tombstone Blues, i tolerated it because i knew Toña had something; every day she comes out with more nonsense; what are you talking about Yenta; the president, first with the black thing, then with the Juárez deaths and now with the first lady’s skirts; everything has to do with the idiots that write their speeches; the problem is the improvisation; laughter from my part. En route. We suppose that it’s from the silence why you can’t talk; i want to scream, to give orders, with silence you won’t accomplish anything; that’s what it’s about, being pacifists; what good would it do us to destroy the historic center or bang each other up; at least i’ll vent; from what Toña; everything; what is everything; nothing, it’s nothing. We waited for Dina for up to an hour, there wasn’t any beer left and it was too late to go for more. I told you she wouldn’t come; surely she’ll call; she’ll say she forgot; she forgets everything. Dina, i told you i would come because i’ve been feeling badly, i need to talk to you; i’m sorry Sis but Antonio’s coming for me, i already planned it with him; that’s fine, but when you need something don’t call me; i promise i’ll go to your house after; i don’t believe you; ¿what did you want to tell me?; nothing; tell me; it’s not important; please, in five minutes Antonio will be here, we have time; i just wanted to ask you to shelter me for a few days, Alberto’s leaving and i don’t want to be alone; it’s that Antonio’s spending the night; that’s fine Dina it’ll be later, i’m scared but what does it matter. Toña remained quiet; Yenta began to dance with her shadow, she had to reflect herself and see the movement of her hips so she could feel that she was dancing. ¿What do you think of the digs?; i don’t like the music; i’ll see if they can put salsa; Toña handled it; i noticed; that’s not uncommon; ¿do you want to dance?; no thank you; we’re chaperoned; by whom; by each other; you’re lesbians; idiot; finally salsa; ¿you dance?; no thank you, i prefer to dance with my shadow. Now i’m hungry; ¿do you want me to cook something?; don’t bother, i’ll do it; you are both my guests; anything, tuna; we always eat tuna; i’ll make you both some quesadillas; ¿you okay with that Toña?; that’s fine; there isn’t anymore beer; i have whisky. And again we hear Tombstone Blues. Then Mama Yenta started giving advice like always. Don’t lecture me Yenta; one can’t go just looking for what tickles the stomach; that fades; but while it lasts you enjoy it ¿and what good is it? you say that because you have years with Lauro; that gets old; you enjoy it more because you know the person; i won’t listen; anyways they’re here for me; you’re not going out; Yenta, you’re just my friend; it matters to me if something happens to you; nothing will happen to me; you just met him yesterday; he looks like a good guy; you’re not going out; move. The telephone rang, it was Dina; i can’t go because i have to turn in some homework for grad school, anyways Antonio’s coming and i already said i’ll dine with him; don’t worry, we already know you, bye. Yenta stopped dancing; i’m going; to where; to Italy, they offered me a grant; congratulations; Toña exhaled and finally opened her mouth; ¿why not me?; you what; i have the right to receive a grant too; i think you’re a bit inebriated; i am not; she knows what i’m talking about; i don’t know; you’ve always been the first in everything, i wanted a grant; please control yourselves ¿you want a quesadilla, another whisky?; you’re the one who’s going to Italy, the one who finished her doctorate ¿why not me?; because you don’t want to; you’re just a year older than me; and what does that have to do with it; that i should have been first, i look older than you and i’ve tried to start things before you; you never finish them, ¿but where is this coming from?; it’s best you both calm down, i didn’t invite you to release all of your childhood traumas; not even when we roomed together did i see you like this. ¿What time is it Toña? I don’t know; ¿did Mama Yenta get here?; she stayed at Lauro’s house; ¿whose turn is it to clean?; Yours; i think it’s yours; i cleaned last week; so it’s Yenta’s, yes i think it’s hers; ¿are you hungry?; Yes but i don’t want to move; we’ll buy something; ¿what?; i don’t know, whatever you like; can’t think of anything; ¿the doorbell rang?; i think so; open; you open; ¿who?; me; ¿me who?; me, open; you have the keys; i forgot them; i thought you’d stay with Lauro; i came ’cause it’s my turn to clean; then come in; we’re hungry; ¿what do you want me to cook for you? Stop with the discussion, i invited you here for something and better to tell you; ¿what?; ¿yeah what? i’m getting married; ¿you?; he spoke to you again; ¿who?; Alberto; tell him i have a boyfriend; i already told him; always tell him i’m not around; i say that but he insists; i don’t want to see him; i’m not interested, Alberto i’m by Cumbres and Jacobo Dalevuelta, someone’s following me, i think it’s Fernando, my boyfriend, i can’t find number fourteen; it’s a blue house, at one side of it is a park; i think i see it, i’m going there; finally you’re here; cute house; ¿where’s Fernando?; i think outside. I’m the one who told Alberto that we should marry; i congratulate you; me too; ¿and you two when?; when Lauro asks me; don’t ask me that question; ¿what’s the matter Toña?; you’re very aggressive; i have cancer, that’s the matter. A pleasure, i’m Gloria; i’m Toña, she’s Yenta; this is the room i’m renting; it’s tiny; we won’t fit; ¿you want it for the both of you?; yes, we’re sisters; you can’t bring any men; that’s fine; ¿you want another whisky?; we finished the bottle, they didn’t sleep, i stayed lying down on the jaguar armchair.

Final Flicker

I close my eyes to feel that not all has been lost; it is then when I start to develop an imaginary world where the impossible is possible, where I can walk freely, where I find a place to feel comfortable and rest without someone asking me to move because that is their spot. That space which only existed inside of me, today draws near, that fantasy has finally transformed into reality.

I open my eyes, everyone surrounds me and I can’t decipher a word. My vision has closed and through a tiny orifice I see the faces of some of my family members. Now they vanish and only my husband’s image appears, I wish he’d stay frozen permanently as if a photograph, he’s left, again he’s left me alone. When I met him his reddish birthmark, close to the eye, stayed etched in my memory. It’s so big I thought someone had hit him–however, it seems his confidence is preserved by that red spot which marks him as something monstrous–though, I came to think this distinctive feature is what made him charming to all women. His face erased a long time ago, now I just remember the birthmark.

I close my eyes to enter my idyllic space, no one’s there, I traverse the walls of the bedroom and finally they’ve left me, I walk between the night and I could detect that by my side is the imaginary girl with whom I played until I was fifteen years old; she grabs me by the hand and takes me to her enormous dollhouse. I enter that palace which I always dreamt up and see the picture frames that swung in the basement where I sought sanctuary. The girl asks me to sleep for a while, the journey would be long and I have to rest. I don’t want to rest I’ve done that for a long time, when I expected everything to come by magically, believing that predictions and fortune tellers would forewarn my way, they’d keep me from harm and bring me closer to success. On top of having rested for such a long time, I think a bit more wouldn’t hurt me. Now I have to sleep to see clearly the beauty that awaits me, that which I’m willing to deny everything for.

I open my eyes, not much time has passed since watching everyone wander about from one side to another, they’re waiting for the moment to arrive, they fear telling me. I’ve known it for quite some time; I’ve learned to mitigate the pain or at least grown accustomed to it, which resulted more favorably. My children have not come to see me today, they think I’ll last an eternity, I’ve asked them so many times to walk without me following, they’ve understood the complete opposite, they travel between lives that do not belong to them and look for alternate exits. Don’t distance yourselves kids ’cause I won’t be able to take you with me. Also, don’t fear for me, I’ve known it for quite a while, before you sensed it. This suffering has run through, first my legs until finishing them off; I thought that was all, to always walk assisted and to fly whenever I chose.

I close my eyes, I’m flying, I can see everyone from above, they’re playing as if I’ve left, they don’t know that now is when I am most present. My grandson walks, he wants to take these hands–his grandmother’s, he doesn’t understand she can’t even move her fingers now, what does it matter, if it’s now when I really understand that legs are useless. I pretended to walk when I was able to; I just remained lethargic with my absurd thoughts about life. Now in this space where the possible is impossible, walls don’t exist nor labyrinths, which many times I created–to never leave them. What a marvelous place, green is red and black is white, I don’t want to finish with this, I want to stay in this place forever. I don’t want to open my eyes now, leave me here.

I open my eyes, your face is still pretty honey, your age isn’t noticeable, your eyes are like your father’s, it’s a shame you didn’t inherit your father’s red mark, it might give you personality and you probably would’ve found a man to take care of you now that I can no longer be at your side. I free you honey so that you could finally see with your own eyes. It’s time you understand that your mother is spent. Now kiss your brother so he can forgive all of the vituperation you planted in his wife. You’ll have to see the face of that woman, who hates you now just for being the sister, you never wanted her to accept you, this is your moment honey, otherwise you’ll never see.

I close my eyes, I’ve stopped flying, there’s a cold draft and I don’t know where this gust of wind that plays with my nails and fills them with dirt is coming from. I hold on to a species of rock, I can’t see anything now, everything is dark, I look for a moment for that girl, my companion, she’s not there, no one is there. Someone comes close, it could be some other guide that would take me to my real place, I still can’t recognize him, I tell him that now I am prepared, ready to leave that world of ignominy. Here I will finally rest, that is what they have promised me and to all, that’s why I claim what belongs to me, I want to reach the highest peak so that my soul rests in another existence better than the one I’ve lived up to now. It’s a man that draws near, asks me to take his hand, I feel a chill only from rubbing up against his skin. He squeezes my fingers, so tight, that I feel a sleeping-heart ache; I try to pull my hand, he doesn’t want to let it go, he is practically dragging me and I can’t scream, they’ve covered my mouth, someone has silenced my scream, my eyes have fallen out of their orbits, I need to breathe, I want to breathe, that man won’t release me, stop it, I thought this would be different, they’ve promised me clouds and I’m only getting dirt. The man tells me that I’ll stay there, nevertheless, a huge bird takes me by its talons, I think it saved me, it’s not certain, its hooves bury themselves in my womb. You’re hurting me, it doesn’t hear me, it just sings and hurls me into the abyss. I’ve landed like a seedling and I’ve entered the earth, I begin to blossom quickly, now I’m a large leafy tree. Two strangers come close to me, one of them cuts one of my branches and I shout, my trunk starts to bleed, the stranger gets frightened and asks me what he could do for me to indemnify the hurt he has caused.

I open my eyes, again everyone surrounding me, there’s a woman on the corner of the bed whom I can’t recall knowing, I don’t know her, she’s a stranger, brings a large candle in her right hand and with the other she holds a rosary that she handles skillfully, I believe they all pray, they pray for my soul and for its salvation, my son gives me a kiss on the forehead, I feel an emptiness. There he is, the man who squeezed my hand before, ¿what is he doing here? I haven’t called him, this isn’t his place, he extends his hand and lets me know to go with him, I don’t want to go, I’m scared, he circles my bed, he gets in between everyone, they don’t see him, at last he comes very close to me. Still, I’ve decided to stay with my eyes open, I don’t want to close them, I’ll never go with him, I can’t continue in this dismal place, I can’t be a lamentation tree. I promise that all will be different, I’ll stop creating other places parallel to mine, starting today I’ll realize those dreams that I promised to complete, now I can’t stay seated letting time pass and for everything to turn to nothing around me, I just want a chance, one more to change everything I couldn’t before. The man has taken me by the hand, I ask all of them to help me, it seems no one hears me, my grandson is the only one that cries, I think it’s because he’s hungry. All of them watch me without even blinking, no one closes their eyes, no one sheds a tear, they’re trees that whack me with their branches, now it’s me that anchors to them. Although the man shouts for me to leave, I won’t do it, this time I will not close my eyes, I’ll keep them open to stay alert to it all, ¿what’s happening? It’s my daughter that comes close to me ¿What is she doing? ¿What does she want to do? No, no, honey please, I don’t want to, don’t do it, don’t close my eyes, everything will be different, give me a chance, don’t close my eyes, now I want them open.


Since my poet

After my ass always, I’ve thought about it a lot, it bothers me, even though feeling you on top of me and hearing you breathe provokes me to submerge myself unconsciously where there is no defined space.

Now, the display, the morning coffee and beyond that I observe the worthless words you tell me. I smoke and I’m no longer used to it. I see your eyes infinitely starless that draw near, you touch my nape lightly, you curl up your tongue, my neck, my shoulder and the nipple that recoils inside, diminutive mass. The throbbing quickens and now my womb is sweating, it knows your route, the flower is opening. According to you I don’t submit completely, that’s how I thought it, but I’ve found the chink, the impossible; only because of your curls that sting my eyes. I have you on top, no, better me on top, I like it more, I believe that way it can get there directly like a lance, I turn into a dancer to see your lips tighten and your hands pierce through me. Now you decide another position is better, I feel pain, never again, I say, my head spins, I concentrate, it goes in and out, in and out, in and out, now I don’t ever want it to come out, up to here, I scream, and you start again. Where are we going, I ask myself, and you continue, and continue, that moment, the latex wall arrives. I rest a bit, I breathe.

Between the people that play sports in the park and the fat girl that asks, where is my dog, are we, I against my poet and you inside of me. Versus what’s established, the ritual continues with some cut-off sentences, slowly, slowly. I like for your back to grow because I feel small, yes, like that, small, beneath the cloak where only your left mole shimmers. ¡Umph! I’m getting tired, best you continue, yes, suck my thumbs, open your mouth, from there you could better observe how you advance, retreat. You like that, I know, I see you, and before me the reflection; that image which stays engraved like the precursor…. Wait, I hear something. It’s a noise, you finally arrive, your keys go in and out, you don’t find the correct one, finally one introduces its teeth slowly, I feel your steps ever closer.

Yes, now, I’m ready, we don’t need any further ado, another turn of the key and you’ll be inside ¡ah!


Glafira Rocha

Glafira Rocha was born in Culiacán, Mexico. Her narrative and theatre work appears in several anthologies and her play Azul has been performed in various Mexican cities. Rocha has received honorable mentions for the IX Carmen Báez Short Story National Prize and the Gerardo Mancebo del Castillo Young Playwrights National Prize (2002). She has received grants from the Foundation for Mexican Letters, State Funds for Culture & Arts, and the National Fund for Mexican Letters, along with support from the National Cinematography Institute's IMCINE program and PECDA. Rocha earned her masters in humanist psychotherapy from the Instituto Universitario Carl Rogers in Puebla, Mexico. Her published works include Azul (2003), El rumor de los días que vendrán (Editorial Tierra Adentro, 2005), Tales cuentos (Palabras del Humaya, 2005), Relato a mí (Los Olivos, 2012), and, most recently, Más alla del sol (Instituto Sinaloense de Cultura, 2013).

Gustavo Adolfo Aybar

Gustavo Adolfo Aybar is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he received his MA in Romance Languages and Literature. He is a Cave Canem and Artist INC I/II fellow and the vice president of the nonprofit Latino Writer's Collective. His work can be found in their anthology, Primera Pagina: Poetry from the Latino Heartland. Other publications that have featured his work include Harvests of New Millennium, Black Magnolias Literary Journal, NINE: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture, and Oranges & Sardines. Currently Aybar is working on translating the works of Mexican author/playwright Glafira Rocha from Spanish to English.

Tales Cuentos. Copyright (c) Glafira Rocha, 2005. English translation copyright (c) Gustavo Adolfo Aybar, 2014.