Enriqueta Lunez’s New Moon carries the sensations and uncertainties of a dusk-filled landscape; traces of shadows obscuring full view of the horizon, of what’s ahead, of one’s own likeness. The voice of the poems tracks a series of moving targets—“haughty, I take aim,” she proclaims. Moving deeper into their path, into a fraught multiplicity of voices and faces, mortal concerns intersect with divine as souls and bodies are threatened, misplaced, or desperately sought. With “no time for lamenting,” Lunez probes the depths of womanhood, trauma, the earth, and of the soul’s place within these divides.
“Riox totik riox”
that’s how she prayed to the saints
making the sign of the cross every time the sun came up.
Now along with the night
she seeks the arms
the back of any man.
“Riox,” the old ones say,
they don’t understand that the moon has changed her face.
Ana renounced love
stayed alone beside the fireplace, in a corner
tied to her mother’s womb.
They never uttered her name
never married her off
no one dared to court her
to whisper fleshly desires in her ear
no one stroked her breasts nothing sated her hunger.
I search for you, I search for me
Where did our paths go?
Where did our toys go?
Where did your body go?
I search for you on the way to the cemetery, the forest, the cantina.
Who dared to tarnish you?
They screamed whore at you
while you sniff cocaine
paint your nails
until your voice falls silent.
Enriqueta Lunez was born in San Juan Chamula, Chiapas. Her road to poetry began in the state of Sinaloa. Far from the town of her birth, she began to write Tajimol Ch’ulelaletik / Juego de Nahuales (2008). As a grant recipient of the National Fund for Culture and the Arts (FONCA) she wrote Sk’eoj Jme’tik U / Cantos de Luna (2013). Her poems have been translated into Italian, German, English, French and Serbian.
Clare Sullivan is an Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of Louisville, where she teaches poetry and translation. Her translation of Natalia Toledo’s The Black Flower and Other Zapotec Poems (Phoneme Media), was short-listed for the Best Translated Book Award. Her translation of Alejandro Tarrab’s Litane was published by Cardboard House Press in 2017, and her translation of Mario Montalbetti’s Language Is a Revolver for Two was published by UDP in 2018.
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