My Home is Writing by Cristina Peri Rossi

In the last twenty years
I have lived in more than one hundred different hotels
(Algolquín, Hamilton, Humboldt, Los Linajes,
Grand Palace, Victor Alberto, Reina Sofía, City Park)
in distant cities
(Quebec and Berlin, Madrid and Montreal, Córdoba
and Valparaíso, Paris and Barcelona, Washington
and Montevideo)
always in transit
like the boats and trains
metaphors for life
coming and going
in a constant stream
I tended no plants
I tended no dog
I tend only the years and the books
I leave abandoned anywhere
that another
might read them, might dream with them.
In the last twenty years
I have lived in more than one hundred different hotels
in houses transient as days
fleeting as memory.
Which home is mine?
Where do I live?
My home is writing
I dwell in her like the house
of the errant daughter
the prodigal
who always returns to see familiar faces
the only fire that never dies.
My home is writing
house of one hundred doors and windows
alternately opening and closing
When I lose one key
I find another
when a window closes
I break down a door
At last
pious whore
like all whores
writing spreads her legs
embraces me receives me
envelopes and surrounds me
seduces and protects me
omnipresent mother.
Mi home is writing
her rooms and landings
attics and thresholds opening
to other thresholds
passages leading to chambers
full of mirrors
where one can lie
with the only company that never fails:
Cristina Peri Rossi is a Uruguayan novelist, poet, and translator. Born in Montevideo, she has lived in Barcelona since the 1970s when she went into political exile. In addition to fiction, Peri Rossi has published nineteen books of poetry, earning her many literary prizes in the genre.

Elizabeth Rose in an emerging literary translator and graduate student in Translation Studies at the University of Illinois. She translates from German and Spanish, and her scholarship focus on the intersections of translation, exile, memory, and queer perspectives in literature.