Sunday, August 30, 2009

"The Cat" by Nayra Simonó

Nayra Simonó (1988) is a student at the University of Oriente and a graduate of the Centro de Formación Literaria Onelio Jorge Cardoso (Onelio Jorge Cardoso Center of Literary Formation). She has been the recipient of numerous prizes and grants for her work, including first place in the Encuentro Debate Provincial de Talleres Literarios in 2007.


The ceiling and the wall leave a crack. Through there the meows of the cat’s copulation slip at three in the morning. Since it's raining today the water drips through the slit, dampening the house. She is in the bed. There is cold and silence. A silence struck by the rain’s blows on the roof and the street. Me in the chair. The eyes on the painting of the wall that is disintegrating. A trail of color touches the floor and gathers in water puddles like the ghosts of my hands on your back, some weeks ago. The hands fearful at first, insecure, hands of bread you would say, kissing them. Hands of bread that, alone in the night’s coldness, look for a place to draw ghosts.

On the wall a few shadows barely survive. It has rained a lot. We knew at the first shower the watercolor would irrigate through the room. The unimagined was that the separation would anticipate the rain and that the ephemeral painting would be the last remaining, at least the last visible one, of what we had.

The cat jumps from the bed. Soon it will be three o’clock and she can feel it. The large drops are not over. She grows exasperated. She moves her tail, asking me about the rain’s end. The question becomes a plea that blooms from the green crystals in the face: When will it stop raining? Never. I hope it never ends. She cuddles at the chair’s feet. She fixes her eyes on mine and the crystals shine, like two spark plugs about to explode.

I put her aside and look at the wall. There we are. She in the center, you surely thought about my hands, because in the painting you had the astute look of when you want something, I smiled, guessing you wished that I would finish painting. Lucubrations. Dawns in which the moans here inside joined the cat’s on the roof. Now I hate her, because I have stayed to listen to her in this house’s solitude. She approaches again. I envy her meows, the caresses over her stomach. The rain stops and I start to become dry, inarticulate, without strength. I try to stop her from going out, but she manages to sneak through the half-open door.

The bustle on the roof. Me in bed. The bread hands circle my whole body. The moaning grows. I finish agitated like the cats, but alone. I am alone and terrified.

The cat comes in meowing; she climbs into bed and sheds some of her hairs on my breasts, still naked. She mocks my desire, the uncontainable wish to be pampered. Stupid cat, I yell, irritated.

In an attempt to avoid crashing the cat scratches her face against the painting. Outside, the silence, that muteness that devours everything. Here, something has changed, at the edge of a purple puddle that imposes itself between the others, the cat whimpers and drops her tail.

- Translation by Marcela Acosta. Photo by author.

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