The Poet / Rebeca Monzo

(This story is fiction, based on reality)

My friend was finishing transferring to his flash memory, the last poems that, like all, had left his heart exhausted. Each time that he put the last period on one, he said that it was like having given birth. It is clear that this hadn’t happened out of his own experience, this sublime pain, but being the older son, he was the witness of the birth, one by one, of his fifteen siblings, and he could appreciate in the sweaty face of his mother, how painful it was.

Meanwhile, in the other bedroom, his wife hastily put in the suitcase everything that she understood was strictly necessary. After returning, because she knew return was inevitable, they would come loaded with gifts, books, and glory, things that weigh a lot and that would make the overweight fees very costly.

Whatever the case, his slovenly appearance urgently needed fixing, a product of none other than the extreme necessity brought by the passing years, leaving for the last moment the fixing of his teeth. They paid dearly and in the black market economy so that it would be done well. He knew that upon arriving at the town where his books wold be launched he would be obliged to smile and say some words of thanks.

The outbound trip was good, because really he didn’t bring more than the clothes he was wearing and a change for his arrival. His wife, friend, confidant, lover and editor, did the same, so that the luggage would be very light.

After a very tiring plane trip, they took the train. In Groñolo, the destination of both, a massive reception awaited them, with a band, regional dances, and streamers. Meanwhile, from the sky, an airship let mountains of confetti fall from the sky. It looked like it was snowing in the middle of summer.

Suddenly, the music stopped and the multitude of people began to chant his name and clap. He went up to the improvised podium, with his blue suit that the mayor had sent him as a gift and started his speech. As he was getting excited with his own words, he started to notice his tongue getting a little slipped-up: he felt that something was moving inside of his mouth. Relying on the serenity and grandeur that had always characterized him, he continued his address. Then those closest to the platform stopped paying attention to his words, to stoop to pick up those little white and shiny grains, that at first they believed were falling from the sky. When, suddenly, one of those who were present, raised up his arm into the air to show everyone his discovery: “It’s a tooth,” he exclaimed enthusiastically, “A tooth from our great poet!” Everyone crouched down to eagerly look for one, to take it as a souvenir. The poet, growing even bolder and without losing his composure, said, “I haven’t only come to offer the most passionate verses, projecting from my mind and heart, I also left you a little bit of myself: those teeth that you will take today as a souvenir, and that with great pleasure I will autograph, because even though acrylic, they are part of myself since what I paid was so very expensive.

The crowd, in the face of such words, acclaimed deliriously that great man that came from a small island far away, not only to deliver brilliant poems to them, but also his shiny teeth, no less, as proof of his love and friendship.

Translated by: BW

June 27 2011