My Sister and I Return to the Imaginary Street of Our Ancestors, Which We Left Long Ago

by Mia Nelson

by Irma Pineda, co-translated by Mia Nelson and Wendy Call

The houses have eyes
looking for every infinitesimal grain of sand
as well as the distant sun,
which today is un-brilliant above us
and does not slip light on the houses’ scalps,
their tiled hair braided softly in black and red.

Who dances or breathes or dies under those roofs?
Who looks back at me from these dark houses?

Later, walking towards the mountains,
the lines of blood we call the village streets
fold away into the bodies of the town.
I think this is because the village only opens
its red mouth to the sea,
only has the capacity for one, single
swinging door.

You turn to me and ask,
where does all the blood go?
Does returning home always accompany this most terrible silence?
Where are the dogs or the children
or even the robbers humming in the dark,
their backs laying on warm roof tiles?

Sister, everyone has gone.
Even the birds.