Testament Scratched into a Water Station Barrel (Partial Translation)

After Rita Dove

Apá, dying is boring. To pass las horas,
I carve
our last name
all over my body.
I try to recall the taste of  Pablo’s sweat.
Whiskey, no.
Wet dirt, sí.
I stuff  English
into my mouth, spit out chingaderas.
Have it your way.
Home of the Whopper.
Run
for the border. ¡Aguas! The mirror
betrayed us.
It erased your face
from my face.
Gave me mother’s smile, narrow nariz.
Once, I wore
her necklace.
The gold slick,
obscene. God, I was beautiful.
Cada noche,
I sleep
with dead men.
The coyote was the third to die.
Your money
is still in his wallet.
Quien engaña
no gana. Apá, there’s a foto, in my bolsillo,
of a skeleton
shrouded
in black flames:
Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte.
Patron saint
of smugglers, pick-
pockets, & jotos.
La Flaca. Señora Negra. La Huesuda.
¡Aguas!
An animal
is prowling
this station. It shimmies with hunger.
It shimmers
with thirst.
To keep it away,
I hurl my memories at it. Your laughter is now
snagged
on its fangs.
Your pain
now breathes inside its lungs. Taste
the feeling.
Siempre Coca-Cola.
America’s
real choice — I gathered & smashed bottles.
Apá, follow
the glass
snaking from
the barrel to a mesquite to find my body.
Lips blue,
skin thick
with scabs.
Apá, kneel in the shade, peel
the scabs. Touch
our last name.
Solís.
More Poems by Eduardo C. Corral