The Proposal
Elizabeth Rose

That night
your eyes were the ones that talked
they jumped over silt and swamps
over fecund earth
and desert
over asphalt animals.
Let us dance
you proposed
let us be the secret
the centuries we carry on our backs
this music box
and the dance calling.
Let us be the wind and the sea
the hours of invocation.

Elizabeth Rose is a queer translator and literary scholar in love with impossibility of recreating meaning and sound across languages. They translate from German and Spanish, and research the intersections of translation, queer theory, and transnational American studies. Elizabeth’s work has appeared in Alchemy, Tupelo Quarterly, Raspa Magazine, and Cagibi, among other publications. They currently reside on occupied Tohono O’odom territory in Tucson, Arizona.


La propuesta
Odette Alonso

Aquella noche
fueron tus ojos los que hablaron
saltaban sobre el limo y los manglares
sobre la tierra fértil
y el desierto
sobre los animales del asfalto.
seamos el secreto
los siglos que cargamos en la espalda
esta caja de música
y la danza a que convoca.
Seamos el viento y el océano
las horas de inventarnos.

Odette Alonso is a poet and narrator born in Santiago de Cuba; she has resided in Mexico since 1992. She has authored 15 collections of poetry, a novel, and three books of short stories. Her book Últimos días de un país received the Premio Nacional Clemencia Isaura de Poesía in 2019 (Mazatlan, Mexico), and with Old Music Island garnered the Premio Nacional de Poesía LGBTTTI in 2017 (Zacatecas, Mexico). She also served as the editor of the Antología de la poesía cubana del exilio, published in 2011. The digital version of Old Music Island can be found here.

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