The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Fiction from Mexico City

T.J. Dema: 2 Poems Published and Translated

T.J. Dema (Botswana), Published in Issue 28.

Translations by Sebastián Velásquez Escobar.

Tuareg Indigo/ Índigo tuareg
 

 Tuareg Indigo

 

I am she who wears colour on skin

Adorning flesh with desert shades of indigo

My stories tell themselves below eyes

Above buttered cheeks

I have no need for a metal sky

A casket carved of bone, mortared in blood

I am a million constellations moulded of mud

The colour of a waking sky

Purple blue memories, sand storm covered secrets

Between my lover the desert

And I

 

Índigo tuareg

 

Yo soy la que viste color en la piel

Adornando la carne con tonos desérticos de índigo

Mis historias se narran bajo los ojos

Sobre pómulos de mantequilla

No necesito un cielo de metal

Un ataúd tallado en hueso, majado en sangre

Soy un millón de constelaciones moldeadas en lodo

El color de un cielo que despierta

Recuerdos azul púrpura, secretos sumidos en tormentas de arena

Entre mi amante el desierto

Y yo

Just Because/ Porque Sí

 

Just Because

 

Because I know you are going to ask

Where the flowers are

I have picked roses red and sweet

Left them by the wayside for the birds to eat

 

Because I know you are going to ask

Where the sweets are

I have made you halwa these hands

Stirred and then spilt what was yours

 

Because I know you are going to ask

Where I am

I have long left the place I was

To walk slow between the trees

 

Where your greedy eye cannot reach me

 

Porque Sí

 

Porque sé que vas a preguntar

Dónde están las flores

He cogido rosas rojas y dulces

Las dejé junto al camino para que las aves las coman

 

Porque sé que vas a preguntar

Donde están los dulces

Te he preparado halwa con estas manos que

Revolvieron y derramaron lo que era tuyo

 

Porque sé que vas a preguntar

Dónde estoy

Hace mucho dejé ese lugar

Para caminar despacio entre los árboles

 

Donde tu ojo avaro no pueda alcanzarme

About the Poet and Translator

 

TJ Dema is a Botswana based poet, voice over artist and arts administrator. She is former chairperson of the Writers Association of Botswana and an honorary fellow of the University of Iowa's International Writing Program.

www.tjdema.blogspot.com

 

Street culture and Spoken Word from Berlin following TJ and colleagues: http://youtu.be/8apdW8aQGuw

 

Sebastian Velasquez Escoba was born in Colombia. He studied philosophy and plastic arts in Medellín. He migrated to the USA in 2006, where he worked as a journalist, waiter, translator, carpenter, Spanish teacher and construction clerk and got a Masters degree in Literature. He is the founder of the blog: unperogrullo.blogspot.com and is currently pursuing a Master in Creative writing in Iowa City.