I have a few favorite poems that I have cherished over the years, some that I can appreciate at a much deeper level than when I first read them (some I found them at age 13).
The poem, “Nocturno a Rosario” by Manuel Acuña, has kept a special place in my heart for years now. I think I first listened to it in a Chalino Sanchez song and was mesmerized by the lyrics, so I looked them up and in fact, the song was made after a poem written in the mid 1800s.
Its a bit too long and complex to translate and one go myself, but here is an English translation I found for those curious. I was probably a junior in high school when I first came about the poem. At that age, I was enamored by old corridos and Banda from the 60s to 90s. The classic stuff. It amazed me to hear these men sing with fervent passion about loves – amores perdidos, amores olvidados, desamores. They wrote odes to faceless women and revered them like as if they were God. I am not convinced by any man’s “love” unless they revere me as such. A man that really loves me will get to know my culture and understand how love is expressed in my community.
Anyways, back to Manuel Acuña, this guy committed suicide at age 24 over an unrequited love (a married woman). I don’t want a man to kill himself over me, really, but I consider this fatality to be the ultimate expression of love, of worship, of commitment. To not want to live without someones love, thats extremely masochistic. He was a student of UNAM, one of the top Universities in the world, located in Mexico City. Him and other poets/med students would gather at this woman’s home to say their verses. And I guess that unrequited love drove him to madness, supposedly and he killed himself via poisoning.
Listening to corridos and Banda in high school led me to daydream of the day a man who would one day sweep me off my feet with his words and odes of love. That eventually happened when I was 17. A boy, barely a man, of age 19 came into my life serenading me and reading me verses of poetry before bed. His words and promises were like cotton candy, big and almost unbearably sweet. Sometimes I look back at his abusive actions when we were living together, and now that 2 or 3 years have passed I see that he was more of a boy than a man and having me in his life was the biggest responsibility he had. So, I forgive him for the traumas and abuse. I sleep better now. I don’t have nightmares anymore. I’m thankful for that shitty experience because now I know not to take words for face value.
My love language are actions. Displays of love. Lavish me, bathe me, pamper me, memorize my favorite things. Do things for me that you wouldn’t do for anyone else.
But above everything else, just be honest with yourself and with me.
Indita mia -Chalino Sanchez (?)
Indigenous woman of mine, if you didn’t love me,
if you don’t love me, be compassionate
of the man that idolizes you
because he finds himself wounded in the heart.
I dreamt that an angel gave me their love,
and in exchange I gave them mine,
she swore that she adored me
and with my entire soul I believed her.
I am an angel that fell to Earth,
to transit in the gardens,
but what use is it to be a gardener,
if I can’t cut a single rose.
Why do you hide when you look at me,
why do you hide yourself like this, my love
what crime have I committed
if I have loved only you.
All my life I have been frank,
I have always spoken to you with honesty,
of course there is no motive
for us to lose this friendship
Indigenous woman of mine, if you don’t love me
If you don’t love me, at least have compassion
for this man that idolizes you,
finds his heart wounded.