Translated by Victoria Lampard and Heather Cleary
From “Ultramarina,” a contemporary opera by Marcelo Lombardero, with music by Pablo Mainetti and a libretto by Edgardo Cozarinsky, based on his novel “El rufián moldavo” (Emecé 2004). “Ultramarina” premiered in “Hasta Trilce” in April 2014. The excerpt that follows is a play on tango kitsch sung by a prostitute named Perla.
A CLEAN SLATE
If I could spit out all the kisses
That tainted my young lips…
If I could wash away the scratch of
of all those god-forsaken sheets…
If I could wipe away the caresses
that consumed my skin, then I could love you.
Oh how I wish you were my first,
the one who lied to me a thousand times.
(Does it matter? It is a man’s way to lie
to a woman, and love her all the same),
How I wish you could see me as I once was,
and I could give myself to you as though you were my first.
How I wish, for you, I once again had
A body that you could please,
I know: there is no hope
for a clean slate, a fresh start
A clean slate, a fresh start,
It is too late, I know.
Some nights I dream it could still happen…
I dream that not all is lost.
Something, I feel, still beats inside me,
Something in me lives on…
It scares me to say it, even to think it:
Could this something be my heart?
Image: Pola Oloixarac