On Translating A Mexican Poet

No es lo mismo decir ventana que "window". - Camilo José Cela

Outside the hummingbird blinks
among blossoming jasmine
to leap a stucco wall
sparkling (from broken glass)
in the always vertical sun
below Cancer. Cerrada.

North, ice is a silver ornament
intricate as quartz.
In fair weather Windex gleam and slant rays
for panicked wrens
to break their necks on. Closed.

Ventana abierta.
The postman's two-note whistle
the cowbells for basura
dry briskness of the morning brooms
church bells, taco smells.

Open windows. What do you expect? Neighbors
at it again, incessant car alarms
horns along the avenue
someone's Sunday bacon frying.

Ventana, windspace, ventus, opening
for the wind to flow.
Window, windeye, vind-auga
lens to watch it by.
Ventana: I am here.
Window: I am watching.

What do we translate here?
What do we mean?
Here is a poem of a third thing.
The language trapped in between.

"On Translating A Mexican Poet" © copyright 1998 by Michael Hogan.
Reprinted from Imperfect Geographies (Q-Trips, 1998).