The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Care Santos’ “Dissection”

Care Santos

Self Portrait

I am thirty six years old.
I am only a nuisance for evolution.
I have given birth to three children,
but I’ve weaned the littlest some months ago.
I never created anything with my hands.
I neither carve nor sculpt.
I’ve never made a basin. Nor a table.
My hands master neither wood nor clay
or anything else.
I don’t know how to fix outlets nor do I understand faucets.
I’m not even good at returning a button
to its place.
For one year, I was president of the housing
cooperative
                              but I feel it wasn’t good enough.
I’m not even able to slaughter a rabbit.
I’m even moved by seeing a fish flopping out of water.
I don’t know tricks nor potions able to heal;
                             I’ve never killed anyone.
I know nothing about sowing or harvesting.
I am ignorant of the pleasure of seeing grow something
whose seed I planted in a furrow.
For many years I’ve felt proud
of knowing how to practice an ancient trade:
offering pleasure
(and at the same time being able to receive it).
But now I’ve learned that even in bed
I’m not irreplaceable
                 although I have a high pain threshold
                 and a tremendous capacity to be humiliated.
Of love, it’s better not to say anything:
there is nothing more useless on this earth
than what we can’t keep.
So that the only thing I have
is my tenacity to join, night and day,
one word to the other.
With them I shape sentences
                                   which in turn form paragraphs
that in their turn are stories,
but it is something that many are able to do,
perhaps better than I do.
                                    Or with greater success.

So here I am.
I am thirty six.
I’m not good for anything.


This selection comes from Care Santos’ book Dissection available now from A Midsummer Night’s Press. Purchase your copy here!

Care Santos (Mataró, 1970) is one of Spain’s most versatile and prolific writers. Writing in both Catalan and Spanish, she is the author of over 40 books in different genres, including novels, short story collections, young adult and children’s books, poetry, etc. She has won numerous prizes and awards, including the Ateneo Joven from Seville, the Alfonso de Cossío Short Story Prize, and in young adult literature both the Gran Angular Prize and the Barco de Vapor Prize, among many others. Dissection won the Carmen Conde Award for a book of poetry by a woman writer in 2007. Her novel Habitaciones cerradas was adapted into a television series. Her novel Desig de xocolata (written in Catalan) won the 34th Ramon Llull Prize and was translated into English by Julie Wark and published by Alma Books as Desire for Chocolate. Her work has also been translated into Basque, Galician, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Swedish, as well as English. She lives with her family in Mataró, Barcelona.

Lawrence Schimel (New York, 1971) writes in both Spanish and English and has published over 100 books as author or anthologist, including the Spanish-language poetry collection Desayuno en la cama and the English-language chapbooks Fairy Tales for Writers and Deleted Names. He has won the Lambda Literary Award (twice), the Independent Publisher Book Award, the Spectrum Award, and other honors. He lives in Madrid, Spain, where he works as a Spanish->English translator.

librecht baker. Dembrebrah West African Drum and Dance Ensemble member. Kouman Kele Dance and Drum Ensemble memeber. MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. VONA/Voices & Lambda Literary Fellow. Sundress Publications’ Assistant Editor. Poetry in Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices & CHORUS: A Literary Mixtape. Currently, birthing & manifesting.

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