The Robert Graves Review


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Linda Morales Caballero


I cannot get over the image of your body
naked, sturdy, milk-coloured,
your hand reaching out to me from the frontier of the other stretcher…

A glimpse of your solid forms in chiaroscuro,
the taste of your hand blindly crossing the stage…
are still a recollection, quiet, vivid,
of an improvised “pas de deux”.

Those ghostly shadows that worked
a new, painful memory into my body
have not effaced the beauty of the moment,
the shared tenderness,
your portrayal, so lovingly recognized and desired.



To look at you today has been
like seeing you and seeing me
in a mirror.
Your ironed out forehead
of a modern Martian
has left me with serious doubts
about reality.
To receive your kiss on my hand
to kiss you back on the cheek
seemed anthropological rituals
of a species long extinct.
You swapped your landscape
for mine;
you offered me, in your intoxicating coffee,
the arrogant bacteria
of your laughter.
Everything by your side is magical,
unreal, playful,
even I, submerged in my black dress,
feel adhered
to your tongue
like a stamp.



We left our skin
in the whirlwind of each encounter,
in the perforated pores
of our bodies, at the very touch
of our wounding desires.
To risk our necks under these circumstances
calls for study
guilt and scruples,
moans scrutinized under a magnifying glass.

Your mouth fills with your blood
when you moonset in me,
and nothing again will ever be possible
now that you are a puddle of what you were,
the one drowned by your own acts.
I will no longer pull you out from the narrow creases  
of spiderwebs, or from rivers or skyscrapers.
I will not, even, keep kicking you along the cliff edge!
How lonely we have become  
from so much staring at each other!


--Translated from the Spanish by the author and Lucia Graves



Linda Morales Caballero is a poet and short story writer. Her books include Simmering Karma/Karma a fuego lento (DarkLight Poetry, 2021), El rumor de las cosas (Nueva York Poetry Press, 2020) and El libro de los enigmas (Costa Literaria Ediciones, 2014) from which a full play in Spain and a short film in New York have been produced.

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