Las alfileres

Poem by Mercedes Matamoros, 1851-1906, Cuba. English translation by Liz Henry.

Los Alfileres


¡Mátame sin temor! Yo fui quien puse
más de un fino alfiler en la almohada
de tu Mirene, mi rival odiada,
y su rostro de Venus descompuse.

¿Y quieres saber más? Después me impuse
en su alcoba secreta con Andrada;
y con Cintis y Friné! . . . Desesperada,
gritó, lloró . . . Remedios le propuse,

y aunque atenderla con piedad fingimos,
¡cómo luego a hurtadillas nos reímos!
¡Por Júpiter! ¡Qué triunfo! Yo creía

que todos los placeres conocía,
y es el más grande, a una rival temible
la encantadora faz dejarle horrible! . . .

The pin-stickers

Kill me, I don’t care! It was I who put
a sharp-edged pin in the pillow
of your Myrene, my hated rival,
to ruin her goddess-like face, Venus’s face.

And you know what else? Afterwards I hid
in a secret alcove with Andrade,
and with Cynthis and Phryne! Desperate,
she screamed, she cried . . . I suggested remedies,

and though we faked that we were helping her,
we soon sneaked away to laugh!
By Jupiter! What triumph! I realized

that of all the pleasures I’ve known
this was the greatest, to make horrible
the enchanting face of a feared rival!. . .

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