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Euskal Idazleen Elkartea

Leire Bilbao Barruetabe˝a > Extracts


2006 Flakes | Susa


There are
women's skins that are
stickier than the smell of scales
There are
feminine hands that go right to the guts
without knowing how to empty the insides
There are
bloods that mingle on one's lap
There are
fish that have one's husband's expression
There are
gills one puffs and pants to remove
There are
bodies that have the shuddering of the waves
There are
those that go to bed with the sea
as with an unfaithful lover
There are
that cut the heads off the fish as if removing their own


Do not ask me to be as loyal as mirrors
if you cannot see yourself before you,
if you cannot see right inside me
as through a window resigned to staying open.

I am no lizard between cracks,
I have been taught to stay put.

I pass the days patiently,
unaware I am resigned
to hanging on to the house my father gave me.

I know nothing of other's pain unless it is mine.
From my perspective I tell you
not to ask me to be as loyal as mirrors,
I will not move
insofar as my breath orders me to stay.

I have been taught to stay put.


You've opened your eyes,
you have that smell of the newly awakened,
the taste of one who has slept.
You've closed your eyes,
lies jump around on your eyelids,
and I want to believe them all.

You've closed your eyes,
because what is hidden can be read
on the eyelids of the one who keeps silent,
in the same way that, when we close the eyes of the dead,
what the dead had to say, what they left unsaid
can be read on their eyelids.

You have the smell of one who has just slept,
the taste of the newly awakened,
you're like a new-born babe.
I want to believe your lies
as a child discovers
old truths.


On the window of the bus
I'll leave you a damp message
that you can read when it stops raining.


Life is no more than a mere difficulty
ever since I fell into the hole of your eyes,
and I know not how to swallow these cherry tears
as I go round and round your pupils.

From this lookout I wanted to know
what you see differently, what, apart from me,
was revolving, as the world does,
in the pupils of your eyes.

In a blink I could've come out of the waterfall of these eyelashes
but you kept me prisoner behind your closed eyelids.
That's why I know you will no longer see me
as I am.

I have swept the questions under the carpet
and have turned the key,
while the world turns on its axis.


We've grown up with increasing pains,
with hot sleep on stones,
in the balance of impossibilities.

Playing with impossibilities
is not being unable to play.

Do not pick up the stone
unless it is to put it elsewhere.
Do not remove it from the earth whence it comes,
unless it is to hurl it far away.

I tell you in all honesty,
we have lived with impossibilities.

No matter where we go
we carry the same smell under our skins.
The damp earth smell
like the smell of mother,
under our skin
no matter where we go.

It cannot be easily removed.
Who has never detested
whom he loves most?
Who has never detested
the damp earth smell
under the skin?

We've grown up with increasing pains,
with hot sleep on stones,
in the balance of impossibilities.


I've stained my fingertips with blood
and doubtfully raised them to my mouth.
This blood that shuns my body
has no bitter taste.
My nipples ache
as if asking for lips.
I don't want yours,
I don't want anyone's
I keep them for me.

My inside beats inside demanding answers,
And I've rested a hand on my breast.
You've asked me why I sometimes understand
a lioness better than I understand you.
Now you know why, when my breasts are beating,
I won't let you touch them,
and why I keep them for me.


She tells me she wants to return to her native land
to silence her childish tears,
to see the cherry trees in flower
before May is out.

In time streets and ideas
have gone wrong for her,
she no longer finds her breath
in the place where she left it.

Loneliness, she says, walks along winter streets
in a thick coat,
she says there are houses that
only open their doors
to let in the cold from outside.

She says days break up in her hands,
and that each night she dresses like the recently deceased,
because she is ashamed to die naked in bed.

May is nearly out,
she has put sun-warmed stones in her pocket.
She tells me she wants to return to her native land
to silence her childish tears.


I don't want a mother country that will bury me,
that will put what we yearned to be in my mouth.

I don't want a love that will exhaust me,
that will rise to my neck, only to take revenge.

I don't want a mother to protect me
if I'm not going to have her at my side when time passes.

If I have no mother country, no love, no mother,
whither shall I return?


A foreigner roams
around my internal town
with feet as cold as dead seas
crossing my lungs.

Tell me, what I must do
if this reality is not mine,
if I am in pain
if I am
like the one who loses sleep,
the one who is searching in his dreams.

So what am I to do then,
if a foreigner roams
around my internal town
if I take refuge among stones
in the presence of you and everyone else.

I am not to blame for everything,
if everything is to blame.
What gives me away
is the way you behold me.
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