AT NIGHT, THE WIFE MAKES HER POINT
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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
but strong souls.
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
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!
Dance the ritual of aging
Like so many
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Charles Castaldi is a translator.