Familias / dossier / Febrero de 2022

Joe Urbach


As I bathe my mother, after lifting her from her wheelchair and settling her into her bath seat; as I rinse her body off, confronted by the image of her breasts, pulled downward by invisible weights, as if a magnet in her knees attracted them; as I regard the creased, deflated balloon of her belly, the cesarean scar above her sparse salt-and-pepper thatch; as the water spatters me until my sleeves are soaked; as I lather up her back, and she, ever loyal to her stoic sense of modesty, leaps from one inconsequential subject to another, like someone twisting the radio dial, I hear the voiceover in my head from a documentary about sea sponges, which explains how a piece of sponge, when it detaches from the main body in the current or the motions of the waves, seeks and finds a suitable surface, and then, a few days later, forms another sponge— smaller, but completely functional.

Tomado de 13 poetas contemporáneos de Estados Unidos. 50 estados, Antílope / UANL, Ciudad de México, 2020, pp. 20-21. Se reproduce con autorización.

Imagen de portada: Barbara Hanrahan, Wedding Dreams in the Park (detalle), 1981. © National Gallery of Australia