Carta a una misma a los 15 años | English translation

Performance at the Barcelona Poetry Slam on May 1st, 2016 (Spanish with English subtitles).

Letter to my 15-year-old self

Now that I double your age,
and triple
how much you love yourself,
now that I’ve had tea
many an evening
with the very same monsters which
paralyze you,
I write to you,
and I trust, for I’m still quite naïve,
that my words will reach that past,
15 years ago, to my fifteens,
scratching the shell of despair
that adolescence brings,
the ancient rush to figure it all out,
and that dogged
need
for approval
that the years have happily constrained
to some very few judges
(far less severe
than your classmates
in 10th grade).

You’ll conjugate “must” with all verbs,
“to seem or not to seem”.
You assume that those who rule your life’s syntax
know you,
and thus you’ll live in the hiatus
between what they say you are
and what you happen to be,
and you’ll be doing it for love
for a tribe who don’t protect you
because they can’t see you.

You shall envy the normal,
the ones who belong,
and that’s why I’ve come
to let you know that normality
will always be a hotel of stiff bedsheets
and that your home, Adriana, has always been outside
that impeccable hotel where the normal go to bed
and get up, and go to bed
and get up, and in between talk about football
(no, at 30 I still don’t get why the fuck
it’s such a thing),
and you’re still not proficient
at copy-pasting to converse
meaning into thin air;
but we shall learn, yes, like one learns
to wait for green
to cross an empty street.

I had to tell you that outside their hotel
there’s no moat, no ostracizing dragons;
that it was true that “children can be cruel”;
that the obligation to conform does not prevent
us from growing different,
that there are so many of us
living in a tribe of houses
beyond that hotel with obstinately stiff bedsheets;
that you didn’t have to choose
between being true to others
or true to yourself;
that the language
we speak is understood
by so many other men
and so many other women.

I promise to you, Adriana,
an empire of truth,
clear and serene.

The fingers pointing, the voices calling names,
the echoes that loneliness, smothered, returns
are a tunnel way too long,
but not a destination. ‘Cos we’re not there yet.

Between us
5,745 days.
And I have loved you each one of them
almost as much
as I know all the Adrianas of the future
are loving us.

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