Stephanie Alcantar – The Borders Marched Off – translated by Ilana Luna

The borders awoke,
they lifted their skirts
and departed the earth with great strides,
running against the horizon.                       

Ever closer to each other,                               
they became entangled.                                              
Until there was no longer any space to separate them
the borders went back to sleep
in the refuge of a blind knot                                       
that from afar looks like a single dot,                         
the same one that was once the center.



Se marcharon las fronteras

Despertaron las fronteras,                                         
se levantaron sus faldas                                                         
y salieron a zancadas de la tierra,                               
corrieron en contra del horizonte.                              
Cada vez más cerca una de otra                                             
empezaron a enredarse.                                              
Hasta que no hubo espacio que las dividiera                         
las fronteras volvieron a dormir                                 
en el remanso de un nudo ciego                                              
que desde lejos parece un punto,                               
el mismo que una vez fue el centro.   

Stephanie Alcantar (USA/Mexico, 1990) holds a doctorate in Romance Languages from the University of Cincinnati. She is the author of Los lirios contarán cuentos de hadas (2008-2009, IMAC), La incertidumbre también tuvo infancia (ICED, 2009; Olga Arias 2008 State Poetry Prize; translated into Polish), Teoría del olvido (Mantis, 2011), El orden del infinito: relectura de un tema borgiano (IMAC 2013; 2012 Mtra. Pilar Alanís State Poetry Prize), Humedad de la nostalgia (IMAC, 2013; translated into Polish), and Coreografía del miedo (Tierra Adentro, 2015). She has also written the play [  ] El tamaño del vacío (University of Cincinnati, 2014). She won second place in the Caminos de la Libertad International Contest with her poem “Si libertad fuera una palabra,” 2009. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies in Chile, Colombia, Spain, Poland, the United States, and Mexico. She has lived in Cincinnati, Ohio since 2012.

Ilana Luna is an associate professor of Latin American Studies and Spanish in the School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies (SHArCS) at Arizona State University’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. She received her doctorate in Hispanic languages and literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2011, where she was also the first doctoral student to graduate with an emphasis in translation studies. Her master’s degree in Spanish and Portuguese was also granted, with honors, from UCSB (2006), and her bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature was awarded Magna Cum Laude from Bryn Mawr College in 2001. Luna has lived, worked and studied on both coasts of the U.S., in the northeast, the mid-Atlantic and in the south. She has also lived and studied in Argentina and Mexico. Her research revolves around questions of gender and sexual identity, the gendered performance of self and the representation of women, class struggle, and art’s potential for the praxis of social justice, primarily focusing on literature and film. She is the author of the book Adapting Gender: Mexican Feminisms from Literature to Film (2018, SUNY Press) and is the Co-Director of Programming for Femme Revolution Film Fest in Mexico City. She is a singer, a writer and a translator of poetry and prose. Some of her work can be seen in Jacket2Hostos ReviewAskewFour Chambers PressOomph!, BarzakhVice VersaHektoen International and Contrapuntos. She has translated books by Juan José Rodinás: Koan: Underwater (2018, Cardboard House Press), Judith Santopietro: Tiawanaku: Poems from the Madre Coqa (2019, Orca Libros) and Giancarlo Huapaya: SubVerse Workshop (Lavender Ink/ Diálogos 2020).