Ada Vilageliu-Díaz



I'm going to
My legs
And kinky-twist
My armpits.
Now that
My man is gone
I don't need to
Look good and shave.
My body is free.
And all the things
I ever did for him
Vanish, as in a dream.
I am going to liberate
Every part of me
Starting with my hairy legs.
Whoever wants me
will take me like this.



A bleeding tree
Holds the answer
To what's boiling inside of me.
During a thousand years,
It has witnessed
The unwritten history
Of the Canaries.
It holds a thousand secrets
In its long pointed leaves
That like spikes create a fortress -
Treachery and pain,
Slavery and rape,
Love, hate.

When everything else is gone
The Drago testifies to a past
Invisible to our eyes
Erased from our lives
Like native tongues.

Like the sweet taste of mother's milk
I yearn for the red sap from the tree
That holds the female sounds
Of my ancestry.
Its roots run deep in the sand
Of this island of despair.

If only I could listen to
The blood that runs within
And hear the Guanche women's voices
Holding the secrets
Rooted in the ground
That we tread with ignorant hearts,
Because we can no longer hear
Our mothers' stories
About our bodies and the magic within us.

I feel my blood is old
And heavy
But it runs faster
When I see the Teide
Through the window seat
Of an airplane
That brings me home
From the other side of the world
Where I am nothing
But the traces of borrowed skin.

Virginia Rosario



Looking at an ocean
of unrecognizable waves.
The smell of black sand.
No fixed destination
The salt still sticking to my skin.
The sand, in the creeks of my body
While I walk away from me.


My hair, green with seaweed
And tangled all over you.
The waters
Flowing from my body,
Atlantic salt.
My lips burn like a volcano

A bilingual tongue released.


I close my eyes,
The Atlantic breeze
On my skin.
You say my name
And I fly back,
Gather the sand at my feet,
Dig a hole
For water to break in.


I whisper your name
Between mountains of desire
Watching the island
From a window.
Flying, I spread my love.




Ber ber
Ber ber
Ver ver
Ver al bereber
Dentro de mí.

With clenched fists
Inside of me.
Guiding spirit
Who fights new struggles
Inside a borrowed language.
Mythical   remembered   sounds
Inhabit the inbetweenness of words.
Ber ber
Ber ber
Ver ver
Ver al Bereber dentro de mí.




Ada Vilageliu-Díaz was born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands to a family of Canarios and Catalonians.  She was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in English Philology from the Universidad de La Laguna in the Canary Islands.  She has studied in Denmark, and has served as a language and cultural assistant at the Spanish Resrouce Center at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in New Mexico.  Ada chairs the International Graduate Students' Support Group at Howard University where she is currently working toward a Ph.D. in English and a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies.


Published in Volume 6, Number 2, Spring 2005.