la rebelión consiste en mirar una rosa

hasta pulverizarse los ojos


Alejandra Pizarnik








“Y estamos marchando todavía en las calles

Con pequeñas victorias y grandes fracasos

Pero hay alegría y hay esperanza

Y hay un lugar para ti”

Joan Báez





SERGEANT JOSANNA JEFFREY by Dinapiera Di Donato









(as told to me by a student in my college Spanish class
who came back from the front)



Howls in the furnace
is it not Janis Joplin?
these are not concerts for suicidal dolls

save yourself

come over

A year in Iraq is not a long time
myJosanna, my breath, its fragrance of bamboo

I would seize Josanna Jeffrey
for more time in your arms

the narrow wetlands of Mesopotamia
Josanna Jeffrey with her silken legs
luxurious black mittens

a sacred Ibis, she remains
in my sight


My fear of a tattoo’s venom
in the mind of the Stormfront cavalry
lying in wait

Josanna Jeffrey my keeper with glittering braids
more beautiful than Central Park in winter
tattooed with saffron
by Christo

Nineveh’s night under her helmet
you’ll need the nail clippings
you leave on my bed

may the sky of Iraq protect you

the sky of Iraq to spring from your branch
just in time

in friendly fire
an armed Klansman on the Internet
cares for the chamomile of his Aryan scalp
when unnoticed
the gutted dead with dark hair
flee from his account

I sense the venom of her rite burn by low flame

She turns
Leaps
Josanna Jeffrey

You are dark you are a heaven for kings
queen of Baghdad my lover from the Bronx

rustling of reeds eyes flaring as light breaks
Josanna Jeffrey fires first

come over

I love her priceless kidneys
lost
to the Basra experiment
hot days my tongue thrashing between your legs
by a screen saver
frigid

like Mosul’s burn

Bamboo cracked open on the air
your breath of violets of menstruation
Josanna Jeffrey
lost interest in pharmaceuticals
Your kidneys for thirty thousand dollars
your violets
nothing

bound to the screen saver
as in a womb
rests in me

I lick the inked arrow at my heart
I let you suck
all the pornography we have made
to bring all the fragile heavens
to safety

loved flesh now decaying
scattered over the dust of 10,000 archeological sites
violet essence
used just once
to draw
three drops of oil

that animal
set loose in the novice’s book
one of my toes
in your slit of bamboo

how you liked it

she said she’d come back and give birth to a daughter
Nasiriya

the birds never flew back either

to keep you I play
my hand Josanna Jeffrey:
once upon a time the lovers
were lost
to friendly fire in
each other’s war

the survivors the blissful wretched girls
devastated sent back by kings dead a year later

howls in the furnace

you withdraw your head
like a golden turkey
that has yet to be
pricked

Josanna Jeffrey

with neither shame nor glory

you do not come

the last match
is saved for the darkness




© Dinapiera Di Donato

COLATERALES/COLLATERAL. Akashic Books, New York, 2013. (pp: 45-51)
Translation from Spanish by Ricardo Alberto Maldonado