WHEN I WAS AN ANGEL, by Mariana Rodríguez

Mariana Rodríguez is a Mexican writer, translator, and editor. She has developed different workshops where children and young people can create their own books and participate in reading and writing exercises. Mariana believes that translation is a tool for attacking cultural hegemonies. She is fluent in Spanglish.


When I was an angel
I climbed up a simple tree
Into a nest made of leaves
I was a sea Angel.

I could be a bird
A Pterodactyl
Or a dragonfly
Anything with wings
But I decided to become an Angel
Because becoming is a tension.

Near the Botanical Garden someone was praying
Someone was asking for redemption
It was a painful supplication
Unfortunately, it had no words.

The sky was a blue nest with white feathers
I was an invisible Angel
But there was that prayer
An old confession without faith.

I don’t want to be an Angel anymore.
I want to thrill with a trill
Capture some prey
Here or there
The only thing I want to forget is that day
When I was a creature
Boring and celestial
I want wings without prayers.

Facing the library
On the grass
Under the blue sky
I ate a pear.
I peeled the morning’s deep joy
Miracles are born from fruit
That is why Cezanne said:
Still Life with Skull.
Did the ancient gods also eat pears?
Their path was wilder than our own
And even so
They worshiped the sun
Honored the rain.
The pear rustles,
Your body thrums
I clean the fruit with both hands
Childhood treasures appear.
A shaft of light sifts through the twigs
A pear is a desolate, ludicrous landscape
But still
And despite it all
A pear.


I am golden and inexact
I have no preconceptions
I am cruel and faithful
The eye of an enormous goddess.

My heart shines
Doesn’t beat
Now I am a galaxy
A man bends over me
A woman bends over me.

Every morning
Tiresias’s face replaces the darkness
In me she or he has drowned a young girl
And in me a beautiful boy
Rises, like a terrible human.