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Recorded by Oscar Gonzales, September 26, 2016.

About this poet

Oscar Gonzales was born and raised in Puerto Cortés, Honduras. He moved to the United States as a teenager to attend boarding school, and he received a BA and MA from Yale University. He is the author of Central America in My Heart/Centroamérica en el corazón (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2007). He has also published two poetry collections in Honduras: Amada en el amado transformada (Editorial Guaymuras, 1995) and Donde el plomo flota (Editorial Universitaria, 1994), which received Yale University’s Theron Rockwell Field Prize. Gonzales works as a human rights advocate and social scientist. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Central America in My Heart

On this voyage into the deep communion of solitude
I’ve casually come to know
the old and withered costumes of the sea;

I’ve walked carefully through the colors of copper
when the dusk has already conjured the last prayer of the day;

Through seasonal doorways
I’ve called upon the twilight ghosts
arched in the corners of the narrow cobblestone streets;

I’ve let my lips evade the necessary verses
to find the ending phrase for the afternoon;

I’ve disarmed the elusive equity of the night
to conceive an intimate verse from its fortified mysteries;

I’ve cast aside the grieving songs of my twilight
as the sky envelops the enamored vestments of the night;

I’ve done
        and undone
                so many things
                          in search of you…


Centroamérica en el corazón

Por este viaje a las profundas unidades de la soledad
he conocido sin planearlo
a la vieja vestimenta del mar;

he caminado con cuidado por los colores del cobre
cuando el ocaso ya ha lanzado el último suspiro del día;

he llamado por estacionales puertas
a los fantasmas del poniente
en las esquinas de las calles angostas;

he permitido a mi boca eludir los versos necesarios
para encontrar la frase terminante del atardecer;

he desarmado la equidad profunda de la noche
para concebir un verso íntimo de su faz amurallada;

he desechado los duelos del ocaso
cuando el cielo se cierne sobre el manto enamorado del crepúsculo:

he hecho
        y deshecho
                tantas cosas

Buscándote…

From Central America in My Heart / Centroamérica en el corazón. Copyright © 2007, Bilingual Press / Editorial Bilingüe, Arizona State University.

From Central America in My Heart / Centroamérica en el corazón. Copyright © 2007, Bilingual Press / Editorial Bilingüe, Arizona State University.

Oscar Gonzales

Oscar Gonzales is the author of Central America in My Heart/Centroamérica en el corazón (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, 2007). He lives in Washington, D.C.

by this poet

poem

What remains of my childhood
are the fragmentary visions
of large patios
extending
like an oceanic green mist over the afternoon.

Then, crickets would forge in the wind
their deep music of centuries
and the purple fragrances of Grandmother
always would receive without

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