Nicole Sealey

Traducción de Mara Pastor

Hysterical Strength

When I hear news of a hitchhiker
struck by lightning yet living,
or a child lifting a two-ton sedan
to free his father pinned underneath,
or a camper fighting off a grizzly
with her bare hands until someone,
a hunter perhaps, can shoot it dead,
my thoughts turn to black people—
the hysterical strength we must
possess to survive our very existence,
which I fear many believe is, and
treat as, itself a freak occurrence.

Fortaleza histérica

Cuando oigo noticias de un mochilero
al que le cae un rayo, pero sobrevive,
o del niño cargando un sedán de dos toneladas
para salvar a su padre atrapado debajo,
o de un campista peleando contra un oso
solo con sus manos hasta que alguien,
tal vez un cazador, le dispara y lo mata,
pienso en la gente negra—
la fortaleza histérica que debemos
poseer para sobrevivir nuestra existencia
que me temo muchos creen es, y
tratan como, otro suceso insólito.

Born in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and raised in Apopka, Florida, Nicole Sealey is the author of Ordinary Beast and The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named, winner of the 2015 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her other honors include an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from The American Poetry Review, a Daniel Varoujan Award and the Poetry International Prize, as well as fellowships from CantoMundo, Cave Canem, MacDowell Colony and the Poetry Project. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times and elsewhere. Nicole holds an MLA in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida and an MFA in creative writing from New York University. She is the executive director at Cave Canem Foundation, Inc.

Mara Pastor is a Puerto Rican poet, editor, and translator. She lives in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where she teaches literature and collaborates as a writer with a number of publications and magazines in Puerto Rico and abroad. Her works include the chapbooks As Though the Wound Had Heard (Card Board House Press, 2017) and Children of Another Hour (Argos Books, 2013). She is also the author of several books in Spanish, including Sal de magnesio (2015), Arcadian Boutique (2014), Poemas para fomentar el turismo (2011), Candada por error (2009) and Alabalacera (2006). Her poems have been partially translated into English and, recently, to German. Her dexterity as a live performer of poetry out loud has given her a place in renowned festivals such as Festival de Poesía de Rosario, Argentina; Latinale, Berlin (2016); Festival de la Palabra, San Juan (2015); Festival de la Lira, Ecuador (2015); La Habana International Book Fair, Cuba (2014) and Festival del Caracol, Tijuana (2013). Her poetry is included in several anthologies and her work has appeared at the Boston Review, 80 grados, Clarín, El País, and elsewhere. She is the co-editor of the anthology of Puerto Rican contemporary poetry Vientos Alisios, that was originally published in Mexico City, followed by revised editions in Spain and Cuba.