from The Other Music

Francisca Aguirre


I'm doing fine;
I'm doing
better and better.
I'll lose heart.
But that doesn't matter.
The main thing
is efficiency.
I'm doing fine;
I'm doing
better and better.

The Stranger

(There's a stranger who visits my home.
He comes at the same hour he used to come.
He speaks a similar language, although with a different accent.
I don't know where he comes from, how long he plans to stay.
He treats me affectionately and sometimes with a little weariness.
He worries about my troubles — knows a lot about me —.
I think he must be a friend of his,
but without a doubt he's a disloyal friend:
I have a feeling he hates him.
This is all very scary to me.
I don't know how I should treat him,
how I should tell him this isn't his home.
I wouldn't want to offend him;
he's too much like the other one I love.
When he's quiet, even I confuse the two of them.

I'm very scared:
I'm afraid he will stay forever.
If he stays
I know the other one will never return.)

translated from the Spanish by Montana Ray