Nitza M. Hernández-López

Nitza M. Hernández-López (aka Nitza Hernandez) is a bilingual poet and visual artist living in Salem, OR since 2012, after she retired as a professor at the University of Puerto Rico. Her poems have appeared in /pãn |dé |mïk /2020: An Anthology of Pandemic Poems, Terra Incognita (Bob Hill Publishing, 2019), and Antologías de Poesía Oregoniana (2018, 2019). Her poem Entre paréntesis / In Parenthesis won the 1st prize of poetry in Spanish for OPA’s 2021 spring contest. She has also won poetry awards from the Instituto de Cultura Oregoniana. She often reads her poems at the Salem Poetry Project. 

Dance of Fire

Today I danced with the Sun
                                on my terrace,
to the beat of its sunset light
an ancestral woman in my memory.

Held in his mighty arms
           I let myself be carried away
by its sphere of burning light,
           softly / as in a waltz criollo
from my beloved Caribbean island.

His intense gaze at the end of summer
swayed my body         held me tight
spinning me around    passionately,
         like in a tango.

Today I danced with the Sun
                               on my terrace
a joyous fire dance
                              freely ecstatic
his saffron reflection on my face.

As I put my sanity aside
I felt his warm gaze on my skin
          my cells in high vibration
                      my creative energy displayed
                                a vision of ancestral images
like the Inti Raymi / an exalted celebration!

As he tenderly said      adiós
I agreed to absorb his golden magic.
Now, to honor my memory of the Andes
            I betray scientific logic
                          and write about this as to not forget it.

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