Luis Miguel Aguilar was born in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico, and currently lives in Mexico City.  Poet, critic, editor, and former director of the arts and culture magazine, NEXOS, Aguilar has published numerous books and anthologies.  His most recent publications are PLÁTICAS DE FAMILIA: POEMAS Y PROSAS (Mexico City: Cal y arena, 2007), a collection of autobiographical poems and prose, and a 2009 collection of poems, LAS CUENTAS DE LA ILÍADA Y OTROS CUENTAS (Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana).
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On Aguilar Street

- by Luis Miguel Aguilar (Translated from the Spanish by Kathleen Snodgrass)

Down on Aguilar Street
They’re not at all scary;
You can be sure of that.

There are plenty of dead
With no stride, with no strength;
The one force they’ve got is

They don’t enter houses
For fear they might get shocked
Or slapped by the living;
They’re beaten off with brooms,
The dead who are out haunting
Down on Aguilar Street.

Not so much as trying
To poke their heads inside
When a curtain’s drawn close
In a certain window
Down on Aguilar Street.

As hungry as they are,
They’re humble, attentive,
Picking at crumbs of bread
In the cracks of old walks.

They mumble songs and pass
Through doors, never making
The slightest disturbance.

They read looseleaf papers:
Books weigh down those dead ones
Down on Aguilar Street.

Feeling the rain of life,
Water of memory,
Falling down around them,
They lift up their faces
Replete with gratitude.

They welcome the raindrops
With eyes shut tight and with
Lips that are wide open,
Still sipping up some dream,
The dead who are living
Down on Aguilar Street.