Green Interger Press has published Violet Island and Other Poems, by Cuban poet Reina Maria Rodriguez (born 1952, now living in Habana) with translations from the Spanish by Kristin Dykstra and Nancy Gates Madsen. Here is the English version of the first poem in the collection, called Debts:
today I want to write about what I'm missing
not to waste hours
or to throw words into the abyss:
to sink into my depths
alone and naked.
what proof can I give of my mortality?
I'm just plain
with freckles, dreams and sorrow.
I have two children
another will be born in September.
I'm a bad lay
-I get pregnant just like that-
I'm number 338123 on my identity card
no photo -the kids ripped it up-
no record of offenses,
serious or petty -
I work as a program editor
a salary of 163 pesos
a literature degree
many uncollected poems
and friends in four categories:
reliable good terrible and sad.
a house that isn't mine
an electtric fan, a comb
the balalaika that my brother brought me
the piano from childhood concerts
a magnifying glass to see reality better
photos of Marti and Hemingway
books they haven't stolen from me yet
maps widening the wall
letters from old lovers
a watch, a blue butterfly, a heart
and many debts
infinite debts with life