But you are also of the others,
of the ones who selected you.
I belong to myself.
I am and I feel
, you say.
And it’s true, you are as you are
even if you change.
And you belong to yourself even if you transform yourself
into a woman or a tree
who takes her long hair to another wind
and its briefest branches
to a limitless land
that rests far away.
You are because you feel what you say
when you no longer have any breath
like the hugs that you give
and that you also—of course—request.
It’s not about that giving and receiving
so often repeated in other verses.
It’s not about saying or lying,
but of being and feeling just as you say.
Yet however, the day does not cry for no reason
nor does the light laugh to be difficult 
and because the depths of the heart is dark 
and the fire that breathes within you burns
when the others do not see what you suffer 
just as you laugh sometimes 
when you feel that not everything is lost.
You are or you are not and you are  
because you were defeated,
the silence would say.
I am and I come, you could say.
You are and you return, I say
when I see you naked
in all those clothes that cover
all of you except your eyes.
When you breathe far away
what you feel close by
while you say,
I live and I’m alive
because I no longer lie to myself
.
And the phrase that no one before you
could pronounce with that gentleness 
that time immortalizes
that cannot flee from itself  
is like requesting a hug
or giving one more closely if possible.
One that even if it seems distant 
is very deep inside.
Like that long hair that was yours
and now turns dull.
Like those wrinkled eyes that shine
and the smell that is no longer the same 
and those hands that grasped you  
before your last fall 
when breathing was becoming difficult 
but you were forced to do it.
You see, you are of the others,
of the ones who selected you.
But you are also what you feel
and let the others see
like when they took that picture of you 
that, despite the passing of the years,
is the one that best captures you
before so much destruction:
sad and intensely
with tears, with silent laments
that were already forgotten
because we are not defeated by weariness
but by the love that confronts us
with us.
I belong to myself,
I am and I feel
.
But you are also of the others,
of the ones who selected you.
Of the ones who loved you
and love you, like those others
who will also come to love you from afar
when you no longer have any breath
and you feel what you say.

© Translated by Sandra Kingery.
Taken from the book Ven, abrázame (2014).

© Photograph by Paula Arbide.