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  • You and I In Spanish
  • Jeanna Neefe Matthews (bio)

In Spanish, he, she and the impersonal you blend together.El, ella, usted, sharing verbs of distance.How convenient to speak of you like everyone else,far from me, formal and official.

In Spanish, I have a very good reasonfor intimacy to be hard.Why let you into my heart if itmeans learning a whole new set of verbs?

In Spanish, the verbs I need to keep youout are closer to what I need for myself anyway.Yo iba, usted iba, yo fui, usted fue,Why bother with tú ibas or tú fuiste for God’s sake?

A metaphysical gamewhere the eternal other is more like methan the real person next to me.Sea, fuera, fuereSeas, fueras, fueres

But in the heat of the moment, it gets harder to deny you.In the present, we all need special words of our own anyway.Yo soy, usted es, tú eresIs it really so much to ask that I learn some special words just for you? [End Page 177]

In Spanish, I have to admit that intimacy is harder than I thought,but maybe I could add an s, here and there.Yo era, tú eras, yo sería, tú seríasMaybe it’s not too much trouble after all. [End Page 178]

Jeanna Neefe Matthews

Jeanna Neefe Matthews is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Clarkson University. Her research interests range widely from Computer Security to Latin American Studies. She was awarded the 2016 Rhina P. Espaillat Poetry Award for the poem “Regalos del invierno”.



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pp. 177-178
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