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Gonzalez' poem "A mis estudiantes"
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Permission to reprint the two versions of this poem was graciously given by the author.

A mis estudiantes

- Quisiera saber lo que dicen esas basuritas -*

Tarahumara analfabeta

Tú que sabes leer,
     no lo tomes por supuesto;
tú que no sabes,
     hay mundos, hay dioses
     todavía por vivir en tus
sueños.
Los mundos esperan formarse en tu lengua,
los dioses temblar en tus oídos.
Estas marquitas en la página,
negras como suciedad de mosca y
tan pequeñas,
te hablan - tú no las oyes.
No te puedo decir el comienzo
del nombramiento,
     sólo como cambia y que
magia
     chispea y relumbra en la base
del cráneo.
No sé si haya respuesta;
tal vez sea suficiente nuestro decir.
Lo hombres, las mujeres
          han muerto siempre
solos;
     estas basuritas en la página
     su último legado.
          No las pierdas,
     estas cenizas encantadas
     de nuestros luceros.

© Rafael Jesús González 2004
(Metamorfosis, vol. III no. II vol. IV no. I; derechos reservados del autor)

To My Students

- Quisiera saber lo que dicen esas basuritas. -

tarahumara analfabeta

You who can read,
     do not take it for granted;
you who cannot,
     there are worlds, there are
gods
     yet to be quickened in your
dreams.
The worlds await to form on your tongue,
the gods to tremble in your ears.
These little marks, black as fly-droppings
on the page, and as small,
speak to you - you do not hear.
I cannot tell you the beginning
of naming,
only how it changes and magic
sparks and sputters at the base of
the skull.
I do not know if there is answer;
perhaps our speaking is enough.
Men, women have died always
alone;
     these small blemishes on the
page
     their final legacy.
          Do not lose them,
     these the enchanted
cinders
          of our stars.

© Rafael Jesús González 2004
(The Montserrat Review, Vol. I no. 1; author's copyrights.)

* "I want to know what those little specks say."

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