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At Night the Wife Makes Her Point: Two Poems

AT NIGHT, THE WIFE MAKES HER POINT

 

No.

I don’t have Cindy Crawford’s legs.

I haven’t spent my life walking down runways in fashion shows,

dazzled under the glaring lights of photographers.

My legs broaden as they reach the hip

and in spite of my multiple efforts

to don aerobic gear, work out and sweat,

I  can’t control their tendency to widen

like pillars ready to support a roof.

 

No.

I don’t have Cindy Crawford’s waist

nor her perfectly smooth and slightly concave tummy

with the flawless navel at the center.

I might have had it once. Once I  was even proud of that part of my anatomy.

That was before my son´s birth,

before he decided to be born in haste

and come into the world feet first,

before the C-section and the scar.

 

No.

I don’t have Cindy Crawford’s arms

tanned, sculpted, each muscle shaped by the right exercise,

the precisely balanced weights.

My slim arms have no more muscles

than what are needed to type these characters,

carry my children, brush my hair,

gesticulate when I envision the future,

or embrace my friends.

 

No.

I don’t have Cindy Crawford’s breasts

ample, round, C or B cup.

Mine are not so appealing in low cut dresses

in spite of my mother’s assurance -a mother’s words-

that breasts like mine, with no cleavage,

had the classical beauty of Milo’s Venus.

 

 

Ah! And the face.

How would I dare say I have a face like Cindy Crawford’s!

The beauty mark just at the corner of the mouth.

Such impeccable features: the big eyes,

the arched eyebrows, the delicate nose.

Out of habit, I’ve come to like my face:

the elephant’s eyes, the nose with its flaring nostrils,

the full lips, sensuous nevertheless.

All is spared with the help of the mane.

In this department, I can even beat Cindy Crawford.

I wonder if this affords you any consolation.

 

Last, but not least, -and this is the weightiest piece of evidence-

I don’t have Cindy Crawford’s behind:

small, round, each half exquisitely outlined.

Mine is stubbornly ample, big,

amphora or clay vase, take your pick,

there is no way to hide it,

all I can do is not to be shy about it

use it to my advantage to sit comfortably and read,

or be a writer.

 

But tell me, how often have you had Cindy Crawford at your feet?

How often has she given you tenderness in the morning,

kisses on your neck while you sleep,

tickling, laughter, ice cream in bed,

an impromptu poem, the idea for an adventure,

the foresight?

What experiences could Cindy Crawford tell you

that would remotely resemble mine?

What revolutions, conspiracies, historical events

has she to her account?

Modesty aside, would her perfect body

match mine’s abandonment,

the gusto, the gentleness,

the wisdom of morningless nights,

and nightless mornings

exploring the many landscapes of your geography?

 

Think it over.

Appraise my offer.

Put down that magazine

and come to bed.

 

 

 

MENOPAUSE

 

So far,

all over the world,

women have survived it.

Perhaps it was that our grandmothers were stoic

or, that back then, they weren’t entitled to complain,

still they reached old age

wilting bodies

but strong souls.

Now, instead,

dissertations are written on the subject.

As early as thirty agony sets in,

Foretelling the catastrophe.

 

A body is much more than the sum of its hormones.

Menopausal or not

a woman remains a woman,

beyond the production of secretions or eggs.

To miss a period does not imply the loss of syntax

or coherence;

it shouldn’t lead to hiding

as a snail in a shell,

nor provoke endless brooding.

If  depression sets in

it won’t be a new occurrence,

each menstrual cycle has come to us with tears

and its load of irrational anger.

There is no reason, then,

to feel devalued:

Get rid of  tampons

and sanitary napkins!

Use them to light a bonfire in your garden!

Be naked

Dance the ritual of aging

And survive

Like so many

Before you.

 



ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR


is an author, novelist and renowned Nicaraguan poet. 



Charles Castaldi is a translator. 




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