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A Nice Day, poem by Teresa Cárdenas

Teresa Cárdenas Angulo[Teresa Cardenas and family]
Writer, poet, and dancer


Member of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC)

Cartas al Cielo: David Prize, 1997; Hermanos Saiz Association Prize, 1997; National Critics Prize, 1998.
Tatanene Cimarrón: Ismaelillo Prize, UNEAC.
Maldito Solar: Delia Carrera National Poetry Competition, Second Prize, Matanzas, 1998.
Cuentos de Macucupé: La Edad de Oro Prize, 2000.

Poems included in anthologies in Spain, Italy and the United States.

Born in Cárdenas, Matanzas 1970.

A Nice Day

Dear God
believe me if I tell you
that I am twenty-something
and I am tired
of living like this
My mother and I talk
like strangers
So often have I given her the map of my love
but always
I don¹t know why
she loses the way
Dear God
hands of fire cover the house
and the roof
is coming down on our heads
while my brother
lies on the bed listening to his pop music
Insects people the floor
the television naps in its dead wires
the fan rasps
its fifteen years of bangs and neglect
Tame flies pasture on us
All self-destructs
I take to the street and am engulfed by the shadows
of large stores
where the fortunate
wander nervous
under the legalized light
of Jackson and Lincoln-In God we trust
Like a phantom I cross the glass
My eyes fuse in the televisions
my body disappears among the clothes
I am left
nailed beyond reach
paralyzed between Revlon and a piece of meat
between a bottle of milk
and Versace
Distant God
how can I substitute my broken dreams
and my dresses
when I shelter
the starved flesh of my mother?
when will I be given a good
good day
I go down on my knees in the road
and I praise your name to all
but
it seems that¹s not enough
God
I am really tired
of living like this
Take off your shirt and come next to me
push as hard as you can
and pay no attention if my house falls with sadness
don¹t look
if my brother falls with eyes closed
don¹t see how
I shock my mother
Just push and laugh at the stores when they fall
on their glass and the last dollars of innocence
Laugh because each day
there are more of us
who are less like ourselves
laugh because those who can do something don¹t
and those who can¹t
laugh and die of exhaustion
Laugh like crazy at me
because even these poor verses leave me naked
and I am so afraid
I have nowhere to go.

Translation copyrighted by Jean Stubbs, 2000

Taken from the book Maldito Solar (Forsaken Tenement), by poet and writer
Teresa Cárdenas. Second Prize, Delia Carrera National Poetry Contest


© 2000 Pedro Pérez-Sarduy

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