El idioma de la casa
A veces tengo miedo de que hables
el idioma en el que no puedo soñar.
Casi siempre deseo
que primero vivas
el idioma de la casa,
el mismo en que te arrullo,
en el que te imagino
platicándome tus cosas.
(Todavía no distingues
que afuera hay otra música)
tengo miedo de los meses
porque tú has nacido aquí,
en este sitio, en este idioma
en el que soy un extranjero
y yo quiero
de tu mundo,
del idioma que tendrás,
de tus palabras.
Me da miedo
la imposibilidad de pertenecer.
Pero te harás tu patria, como cualquiera.
Si te preguntan de dónde eres
diles que has venido del corazón de tu padre,
de un corazón
que aprendería cualquier idioma
para hablar contigo.
The Language of the House
Sometimes I’m afraid you will talk
in the language in which I cannot dream.
I almost always wish
that you live first
the language of the house,
the one in which I lull you to sleep,
in which I imagine you
telling me your things.
(You still do not know
that there is a different music, outside)
I have been afraid of the months
because you were born here,
in this place, in this language
in which I am a foreigner
and I want
in your world
in the language that you will have,
within your words.
I am afraid
that you will also know
the impossibility of belonging.
But you will build your own homeland, like anyone else.
If someone asks you where are you from,
tell them that you came from your father’s heart,
a heart that would learn any language
to talk with you.
Manuel Iris is a Mexican-born poet, father and educator living in the United States. He was the Poet Laureate of the City of Cincinnati, Ohio (2018-2020). Iris received the National Award of Poetry Merida (Mexico, 2009) for his book Notebook of Dreams, and the Rudolfo Figueroa Regional Award of Poetry for his book The Disguises of Fire (Mexico, 2014). His poems have been published in Spain, Chile, Cuba, Colombia, Portugal, France and Angola, to name a few places. In 2021 he became a member of the prestigious National System of Art Creators (Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte), Mexico.
Translation into English by Manuel Iris.
The poem ‘El idioma de la casa’ | ‘The Language of the House’ was first published in the book Lo que se irá (Dos madres press, 2021).
By Manuel Iris
Issue 3 | Autumn 2023
Barco | Steamboat (translated by César Albarrán-Torres)
Gain a Nuevo Fresh | Natalia Figueroa Barroso