Luminous missionaries
our sexual bodies
perfect as a bird's nest
carnivorous, incomparable.
The bodies of virgins
hold all the dreams
the honeyed bodies of whores
hold all the men

The bodies of ladies hold
one man and charm thousands

The bodies of dust of the dead
where worms sigh

The bodies of pregnant women
brimming with knowledge of creation
The world created through a circle.  

“Nido de pájaros” © Aurora Arias. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2011 by Erica Mena. All rights reserved.

luminosos nuestros órganos sexuales
perfectos como nido de pájaro
carnívoros, inimitables.

Los órganos de las vírgenes
donde caben todos los sueños
los órganos de miel de las prostitutas
donde caben todos los hombres

Los órganos de las señoras donde cabe
un hombre y se invocan miles

Los órganos de polvorientos de las muertas
donde suspiran los gusanos

Los órganos de la mujer grávida
en plena erudición creadora.
El mundo creado a través de un círculo.

Aurora AriasAurora Arias

Aurora Arias (Santo Domingo, 1962– ) is a poet and fiction writer, and considered one of the most important members of her poetic generation, “the generation of the 80s.” She has two books of poetry, Vivienda de pajaros and Piano lila, and three books of short stories, Invi’s Paradise y otros relatos, Fin de mundo y otros relatos, and Emoticons. She was co-editor of Quehaceres, a journal published by Centro de Investigación para la Acción Femenina (CIPAF). Her work has been translated into a number of languages, including English, French, German, Icelandic, Bengali, and Italian, and selected for many anthologies, including Common Threads: Afro Hispanic Women’s Literature, ed. Clementina Adams (1998); Sólo cuento (2010); and Les bonnes nouvelles de l'Amérique latine (2010).

photo by Daniel Mordzinski

Translated from SpanishSpanish by Erica MenaErica Mena

Erica Mena is a poet, translator, and editor, not necessarily in that order. She holds an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Iowa, and is an MFA candidate in poetry from Brown. Her original poetry has appeared in Vanitas, the Dos Passos Review, Pressed Wafer, and Arrowsmith Press. Her translations have appeared in Two Lines, Asymptote, PEN America, and Words without Borders, among others. She is the founding editor of Anomalous Press.