NAME, M/DD NAME, M/DD NAME, M/DD NAME, M/DD Express %26 Inspire Development %26 Publication

Ulalume González de León

Poems from Plagios

Translated by Terry Ehret, John Johnson, and Nancy J. Morales


No podemos tocar ni los sueños ni la vida

pero la mano que se alarga hacia los sueños

y la mano que se alarga hacia la vida

tocan ambas un solo centro

más cierto que tocar or creer que tocamos

no podemos asir lo que amamos

pero la mano que se tiende para asirlo

y la mano que sabe y retrocede

se juntan en el único ademán possible

un asir simultáneo de soltaruna ola

que urde mientras rompe su proprio nacimiento

no podemos decirnosporque somos

todo lo que decimos todo lo que callamos

pero lo mano que escribe palabras

y la mano que borra palabras

pactan aquíse dan la mano


We can touch neither dreams nor life

but the hand that reaches toward dreams

and the hand that reaches toward life

touch a single center

more certain than touching or believing we touch

we can’t hold onto what we love

but the hand that rises to hold it

and the hand that knows and falls back

come together in the only gesture possible

a graspingsimultaneously releasinga wave

that conceives its own birth as it breaks

we cannot tell ourselvesbecause we are

everything we sayeverything we silence

but the hand that writes words

and the hand that erases words

join herehand in hand.


Yo Es Tú

no sé

cuando estoy sola

cuál de los dos no está

ni si alargo hacia ti o hacia mí los brazos

I Is You

I don’t know

when I’m alone

which of us is not here

nor whether I reach

toward you or toward me

my arms


Poème Simultané


las manos

las palabras

dicen un solo asunto de piel y pensamiento:

no puedo traducirlo

a una sola de esas dos lenguas

Simultaneous Poem




speak only of an affair of skin and thought:

I can’t translate it

into just one of those two tongues


La Mort Des Amants

tán solubles

el uno en el otro

que en un abrazo


The Death Of Lovers

so soluble

one in the other

that in one embrace

they disappeared



en la intersección


devoz queinunda yvoz queenvuelve

mite mite

se forma esta piel

la piel que no separa

que no tiene lado y aquel lado

la de ósmosis felices—sin aduanas


at the intersection


ofvoice that floodsandvoice that envelopes


forms this skin

skin that doesn’t divide

that has no side here and no side over there

skin of happy osmosis—without borders


El Camino Más Largo Más Corto

para decirtepara tocarte

doy un rodeo

para que el pensamiento para que el cuerpo sea

 sea primero cuerpoprimero pensamiento

The Longest Shortest Way

to tell you to touch you

I take a round-about way

so that thought so that body may be

may be first bodyfirst thought

Terry Ehret, one of the founders of Sixteen Rivers Press, has published four collections of poetry, most recently Night Sky Journey, from Kelly’s Cove Press. Literary awards include the National Poetry Series, California Book Award, Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, a nomination for the Northern California Book Award, and five Pushcart Prize nominations. From 2004-2006, she served as the poet laureate of Sonoma County where she lives and teaches writing.

John Johnson’s work has appeared in many print and online journals, including BOXCAR Poetry Review, Clade Song, Triggerfish Critical Review, and Web Conjunctions. He has studied Spanish language and literature and letterpress printing with Iota Press of Sebastopol, producing chapbooks and bilingual broadsides.

Nancy J. Morales, a first-generation American of Puerto Rican parents, earned her Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers College, Master's in teaching English as a Second Language from Adelphi University, and Doctorate in Education from Teachers College at Columbia University. She has taught at Dominican University and College of Marin, California State University, Sonoma, and other schools, from elementary to graduate levels. She is a board member for the Northern California Chapter of the Fulbright Alumni Association, and teaches Spanish to private clients.

— posted August 2016

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