from Part II of Catacombs / Catacumbus

Luciana Jazmín Coronado, transl. by Allison A. deFreese

Arengreen 1367*

The Bride

My mother warns me
that Grandmother has awakened
from death,
taken a shower
and put on a dress
over her naked body

together we run to the stairs,
watch her descend slowly
between the yellow marble balusters,
a bride
extinguishing her flame
at the alter,
the face emaciated
the lips red

halfway down
I give her a hug
You are beautiful,
I tell her,
and the world
can do nothing about it.
she smiles
like a paper girl,
ready for her trip


The Chest Filled with Flowers

if I no longer see you
in the garden
if you stop trimming the buds
on the rosebush Grandpa planted

if I stop looking at
your hands
with their large freckles,
extending towards the sun

or watching you sit down
to rinse your legs
as the blood gathers
in your swollen feet

how much longer
will it be until
the garden goes into hiding
and a chest filled with blue flowers
illuminates what’s under the soil?



La Novia

mi madre me avisa
que la abuela despertó
de la muerte
tomó una ducha
se puso un vestido
sobre el cuerpo desnudo

corremos hacia las escaleras
la vemos bajar despacio
por el mármol amarillo
una novia
en el altar
la cara escuálida
los labios rojos

la abrazo
a mitad de camino
estás hermosa, le digo
el mundo
no puede hacer nada contra eso

ella sonríe
como una niña de papel
lista para su viaje



si dejo de verte
en el jardín
cortar pimpollos del rosal
que plantó
el abuelo

si dejo de mirar
tus manos
de pecas grandes
extenderse al sol 

o sentarte
a fregar tus piernas
la sangre reunida
en tus pies hinchados

¿cuánto faltará
para que el jardín se esconda
y un baúl
de flores azules
ilumine bajo la tierra?


*Translator's Note: These poems are from Luciana Jazmín Coronado's collection Catacombs, with each section (or catacomb) of the book named for a different street address or neighborhood in Buenos Aires.


Allison A. deFreese is a translator and poet. Her poetry has appeared in: Magical Realism Magazine, Mañana Magazine, Many Mountains Moving, Margin, the Midwest Poetry Review, and the Mochila Review. Pub House Press (Quebec) recently published her translation of Verónica González Arredondo’s I Am Not That Body. Her translations of Luciana Jazmín Coronado’s poems have previously appeared in Crazyhorse and Columbia Journal.