Poem - Found in Translation

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NOTE: This page is a daughter page of: Poems


This is a poem I wrote after my fist visit to Mexico, written while I was on the plane back to the United States. The poem is about a brief moment I shared with a lovely Mexican girl called Alejandra. Despite a language barrier, we had a lovely connection. It's actually one of my sloppiest written poems - technically it's a bad poem, but I decided what I wrote on the plane, even though I was exhausted, was worth sharing without modification. I hope it means something to you.... maybe there are others out there who have had similar experiences while on vacation.


Found in Translation

Pristine, turquoise ocean off the gulf of Mexico,
The white sands of Playa de Carmel,
I met her in fabulous dance near the ocean,
I reached out my hand to her and she took it without question.


I could not really talk to her,
It was not due to my nervousness.
I speak the wrong language.
A bashful Australian and a Spanish beauty exchanging awkward words.


A friend of hers translated for us when we faltered.
Under the full moon we surprised each other by telling deep secrets about former love.
Both of us surprised by the conversation, she says I have a beautiful heart.
I exchange her details and say I want to meet her again.


The next day she drives to see me. I take her to a restaurant to talk.
Quickly her limited English and my ten words of Spanish expired, but our smiles remain as bright.
She wants to know more, as do I.
I take out my translate app on my phone and snuggle against her.


I speak into my phone, and she seems surprised to hear a metallic female voice translate my words.
Not perfectly, but well enough to learn more about her history, her family and her passions.
She talks back via the same voice.
A beautiful technology, and yet awkwardly slow.


Foliage brushes the back of our heads.
Very happily I had found a restaurant which is quiet and with two beautiful trees affording some privacy for us.
Everyone is watching a soccer game tonight, and the restaurant we have almost to ourselves. Serendipitous. The sporadic cheers from neighboring bars are noticed, but cannot deter me from her eyes.


I want to just whisper into her ear in Spanish that she has an energy about her which is sweet and pure, but I must type it instead, and hope the right words appear.
I love my Google, but every so often an awkward word like "pregnant" appears with each typing error, making me laugh.


Our connection grows, and I move closer. Do I ask her if I can kiss her? No, I push the phone in her hands face down into the table and stare into her eyes. Such moments do not need translation. Such moments are slow poetic magic.


We kiss gently, and embrace the tingles in our body. We smile. She continues to talk, so I kiss her again, playfully, to make her quiet. We enjoy a fabulous seafood meal, savoring each bite, and then I walk her to the beach, to lay and gaze into each other's eyes for just a while. She has to leave tomorrow on a flight.


She is shy. I tell her that I'm in a condo nearby, but that, based on our kiss, I couldn't trust myself to remain a complete gentleman if our kisses continued on a bed. She appreciated my honesty.
Briefly she decides she could come over, but we then talk it out and decide the moment is magical where it is.
I walk her to her car and kiss her goodbye.


Magical, yet never quite coming towards perfect if I am honest. Our desire to learn more meant we spend too much time staring at a translate screen instead of each others eyes. Listening to the ocean you are meant to start up at the light of the stars, and not a screen.


Learning what two hearts can communicate non-verbally was magical, yet neither of us could hide the more practical side of our minds that wanted to know where things would lead, and connect more intellectually. In retrospect I should never have used technology, so I would have had more time to stare into her eyes.


I will remember, most of all, the moment when we were just walking without phones, and I knelt down on the sand by the nighttime ocean for a magical close kiss. I wish I had more time to lose myself, our time together was fleeting.
Yet it was beautiful, and I will always remember it now, through these words.


            -- by Andrew Noske



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