Sin Color

Author’s note: this is, admittedly, a silly indulgence on my part. A poem I wrote in Spanish – the perks of being bilingual? – because sometimes I do that. I tend to write more personal yet strong things, emotions, in Spanish. Anger and pain often work better for me in that language – I’ll let my therapists figure out why. Nevertheless, this is a thing and I apologize to non-Spanish speakers; I’ll attempt an interpretation of this piece later on, if the spirit moves me ;).




No hay cenizas para un fuego que no quema

Mas sublime en su danzar, la llama, permanece

Inmutable y absoluta cual ofrenda eterna

Que no da oído al infortunio que le acaece

No encuentro senda ni paraje que aclare

El horizonte y sus cúmulos acechantes

Ni diviso dónde termina mi tristeza errante

Y dónde empieza el luto de haber sido amantes

Reviento en lágrimas tan solo por respirar

No encuentro luz en el filo de mi altar

Vigilo, cuerdo, el andar crepuscular

Mas no logro dejar de extrañar

Imploro al vacío un aliciente paliativo

Algún destello de esperanza caritativo

Que logre adormecer este anhelo desgarrador

Que me roba el sueño y me ha vuelto hijo del dolor

Te prefiero así, sin color, sin sonido, sin calor

Te prefiero así, enmudecida, a la distancia,

Que en mis brazos buscando la huída, mi amor,

Que en mi vida maldiciendo tu estancia

No quiero colorearte con mi pena

No quiero darte un matiz injusto

No quiero permutar tu colmena

Prefiero el espectro insulso

Sin color, sin mi ardor, sin mi aliento

Que de alguna manera aún tienes

Sin color, como el aire, como el viento

Sin saber si te irás o si vienes


Ultimate Halloween

Halloween had always held a special place in Beto’s heart. In his mind, he’d always idealized and fantasized extensively about the many things that could happen during such a magically charged night. Both he and his best friend an front door neighbor Tato love Halloween so much that they had made stunts and pranks an art form as soon as they had been allowed to go out Trick or Treating on their own.

This year’s was likely going to be the last Halloween they spent together; Beto was four years older than Tato, though still not officially an adult, and he was waiting to hear back about his college applications. If all went well, by this time the following year he’d be off to study abroad. Therefore, it was imperative that they make the most out of this one. They were going to pull all the stops, spare no one, the works!

They had spent two days scouring the neighborhood for dog turds, scooping them up with a little plastic shovel and depositing them in brown paper bags. This was a classic staple, a stalwart of Halloween pranks. They couldn’t, of course, forget about it no matter how basic it was.

They had also made liberal use of one Anarchist’s Cookbook, which had some very interesting home recipes for explosives – nothing too damaging, they decided, as they didn’t want to be terrorists about it, just vandals – and were geared up for a truly memorable night of stunts and wreaking havoc.

It was already 4pm and the day was growing unusually dark even for that time of the year. By the looks of it, twilight would be taking place well before 6pm and dusk would have its reign early.

Beto sat on the front walkway of his family’s house, right below the weeping willow of the front yard, which branches just managed to reach and hang above him. He smelled something in the air that kept making the hair on his nape prickle. There was a message in the wind, a whisper, a rumor, and he didn’t quite know what it was, but it was exhilarating.

It was a promise pregnant with the notion of adventure, of danger. It was like a dream where one is both hunter and prey, where the thrill of the chase is experienced from both vantage points. Complete.

Tato arrived with gear in tow: meters of rope, a bag of practical tools and goodies, and an extra change of clothes. They would need to change twice, at least, if they were going to pull the night off.

They talked about the plan; where they would go and how they would proceed, just running it back for review, to make sure they were on the same page. They were synchronized like pros. It would be a cinch.

Their scheming was interrupted by a veritable eruption of sound caused by a colony of bats so voluminous it blackened the twilit western sky. The contrast of winged things  rendered solid black by their contrast against the fiery background of the setting sun over the mountains painted a picture that pulled hard on the strings of both their hearts. It spoke to them of what was coming in as ominous a tone as any portent ever could.

They stared at the large flock for a few moments until they heard the distant wail of several sirens fast approaching. Their instincts were flaring alarms of their own, and the hairs on their arms felt like they were standing on end. This is going to be crazy, Tato said. Beto agreed with apocalyptic glee. Indeed, it would be!

Tato ran inside Beto’s to get the home-made  explosives and a wooden baseball bat. Beto remained outside, watching dusk fall with gusto and anticipation. Tato returned a few minutes later and they set out on the path of mischief.

They had but traveled two neighborhood blocks when they came upon the first disturbance. It appeared that the undead had risen, wherefrom they could not say, but there was only one thing to do about it: swing away and be generous with the gasoline and fire.

They had always wished for a night like this and so relished the wanton violence and chaos like babes suckling at the mother’s teat. All manner of foul beings and spooks to bandy blows with and feel alive, all sorts of myth to set alight, they both thought as they waded through the useless crowd that fled. They may yet have been children for all intents and purposes, but they knew how to bleed like men. Before the night was through they would both meet a most gruesome end, but what a glorious end at that!