…I’ll leave jewelry at her threshold

My mother isn’t dead but
I’ll leave jewelry at her threshold,
rattles of gold
so that she hangs them from her ears
and birds come
to her prideful call.
They’ll eat her earlobes
like pieces of bread.
Pregnant mummy
with a long braid in her hair
that needs to be filled with balm
and then they raise
a pyramid in her name.
You’ll have to pass through a labyrinth
to get to her.
Sphinx, lion’s body
that speaks in riddles:
What walks on three legs?
My mother with her cane.
The jewelry will rust,
her face will become unrecognizable
but always look forward
while I live
my little life.

Original poem by Carla Chinski. Excerpted from her debut collection Canciones de cuna para mi madre (Llanten 2019, Buenos Aires) and translated from the Spanish by Jack Rockwell.