Colombia (II)

Camila Melo Parra
Unpublished, 2020

Castillos de ceniza

A sus ojos de noche

Navego como una escafandrista buscando en cada superficie memorias que te nombren.
Visito tu cuerpo para que me delate sus más íntimos apetitos.
Lo acojo en mis manos que figuran caricias y  que fraguan combates:
Tu cuerpo versus mi cuerpo.
De allí nadie saldría vivo porque ese canibalismo tan nuestro, tan insaciable, tan bestial y tan feroz, difícilmente se atrevería a bajar la guardia del placer.
Evoco tu voz y en ella los poemas, las canciones, los clichés.
Visito las cartas donde nos desnudamos de todos los juicios
y le hicimos el quite a la rutina, siendo su hospedaje de paso.
Me quedo allí, haciendo castillos de ceniza para celebrar un amor de fuego.


Castles of Ash

To his eyes of night

I sail like a deep-sea diver looking on each surface for memories that name you.
I visit your body so that it tattles on its most intimate desires to me.
I harbor it in my hands, which shape caresses and forge battles:
Your body against my body.
From there no one would come out alive because that cannibalism, so ours, so insatiable, so brutal and so fierce, would hardly dare to lower pleasure’s guard.
I invoke your voice and, with it, the poems, the songs, the clichés.
I visit the letters where we stripped ourselves of all judgments 
and sidestepped routine, being its transient shelter.
I stay there, building castles of ash to celebrate a love of fire.


Camila Melo Parra is a Colombian poet, who also holds with a degree in Communications and Cultural Project Management. Her work has been part of anthologies like Desnudez roja, published by Clio Artesanal; Como si correr sirviera para escribir. Antología de ficciones sobre correr y tiempo, published by Editorial Otra Parte; and 100 mujeres poetas, published by Nueve Editores. Melo was invited to participate in the Mexical festival “Más allá de las fronteras,” in 2016, and she was part of the multidisciplinary collective exhibition “Apuntes del cuerpo humano” in 2019, also in Mexico. She currently works in the publishing industry and collaborates in print media, where she shares her experience and thoughts about books or her love of art. Since 2009 she writes on her blog “La utopía de Mariana.” Co-founder of Revista Transeúnte, Camila Melo has worked for the cultural section of El Espectador, one of Colombia’s most well-known newspapers, as well as other cultural media in the country.

Melo Parra’s “Castles of Ash” tackles the compulsive, consuming and fierce nature of love and desire. The search for a love lost takes the narrative voice on a deep dive. Just as the memory of love penetrates deep into the body and soul, so much the search to conjure the spirit-like memory of its origin. Cannibalistic in nature, the search strips the poetic voice to its bare bones, making desire and yearning both the disruption of daily routine and the formation of a new routine.

Translation prepared by Kevin Ennis

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