Paghatag ug Ngalan / The Act of Naming

Poetry by | January 20, 2008

Ali diri
ug hubui ko.
Unaha ug limas ang akong utok.
Kana gyud! Hinay-hinaya ug
limpyo ang hugaw nga sudlanan sa akong
kahambog.
Sunod, ihuho ang akong dughan.
Lugita ang gahi nga kasing-kasing
unya tuhuga’g lawum.
Kana gyud! Aron makatilaw pud og
igong kasakit nga iyang nahatag sa uban.
Dayon, huboa akong panit.
Ihikyad akong bukog.
Kana gyud! Aron makit-an nimo nga ang akong
ginaingong kusog
usa ka dakong ilad.
Tiguwang na ang bukog
ug nangapudpod.
Mao na ni ang imong dugay nga gipaabot.
Ang maatubang ko nimo
nga hubo, ako ra ug way lain:
way dala nga kahibaluan,
way kagahapon nga gipangsamdan,
way kakusog nga gikahadlukan.
Hubui ko.
Gamita ang imong kamot, utok, lawas, bukog, dughan.
Limpyohi ko,
samdi ko,
paniti ko hangtud
nga ang kada bukog ug kinagamyang binhi
sa akong lawas
mamahimong bag-o,
mamahimong imo —
usa ka pag-angkon nga
dili nako ikahikaw —
kung kana ang makahatag ug ngalan
sa imong maaghop nga panagway.

Translation
Come over
and undress me.
Begin with what’s contained in my brain.
Yes, that’s it! You must do it slowly —
clean up the dirty carapace that houses my pride.
Proceed with my heart.
Grind your hand all the way to its hardened strings
then make the deepest cuts.
Yes, that’s the way to do it! The heart must have a taste
of the hurt it’s inflicted.
Then, undress my skin.
Expose the entrails that are my bones.
Good! That’s how to do it! See how this so-called strength is
one big heap of lies?
The bones are old and dried-up,
crumbling.
This is what you’ve long awaited.
To see me in my nakedness,
in my aloneness:
no mind to speak of,
no pasts scarred from my beating,
no intimidating strength.
Undress me.
Make use of your hands, your feet, your brain, your body, your bones, your heart.
Cleanse me,
whip me,
scrape me —
until each bone and each tiniest seed
in my body would sprout anew
and become your possession.
This I won’t resist
if, with it, your unblemished face
shall finally own a name.