¡Ay, acordeonista!

The big black case rests
in my room sometimes,
in a dream with butterflies
that sleep in chrysalides.
Loas develop there,
sonnets from the mist,
wet lilies from graves,
and songs that fountain the flow.

The waves, once open,
pour over docks,
the sound and breath spin me,
the powerful cup
of liquor fills my longing
through reeds that vibrate my air,
hands that open my voice,
and bellows that fill my lungs.

It’s a taste, sweet to my mouth;
it’s nothing except death
that slips in and covers my skin.
The clasps have closure
in shadows without sonnets.
My dreams don’t touch me.
They weep into ballads
before I suspend them.

I don’t want the flow to cease,
or the music to desert me,
or the accordionist to leave me
among broken words;
but the black case disappears
like a vapid friend
whose fingers are made of air,
spectral to my couplets.

I originally wrote this poem in Spanish in corresponding syllabic lines of seven and eleven, and with an assonant rhyme scheme–all even lines rhymed and all odd lines rhymed. I translated it into English because I’m a little too shy to post my Spanish stanzas online. Plus, you know, my English audience will be able to understand it this way.



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