Miati’ ndxó’ cubi

Translated into Isthmus Zapotec by Víctor Terán

I was born in a poor, forgotten town in Southern Mexico, where I saw that the only well-off people were the professionals. I took advantage of a relative in the capital and went there at age eleven. I worked as an errand boy to pay for school. The shortest professional track was becoming a teacher. Migration aches in the soul. It's not easy to abandon one's family and friends to enter a hostile, unknown world in search of a better life, and it's even more painful if the language you command is not that of the place where you seek your salvation.

Born in Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca, Víctor Terán is a media studies teacher, cultural promoter, and author of eight collections of poetry and short stories in the Isthmus Zapotec language. With David Shook, who translated his selected poems, The Spines of Love (Restless Books, 2013), Terán edited Like a New Sun, an anthology of new writing from six indigenous Mexican languages. 

Cadi sica miati’ ngua griegu bizaabi’ xtiidxa’,
miati’ ngola guzá bixhatañee xtale guidxi;
rarí’, ruaa nisadó’ xtinu, ca bandaga ná’ gubidxa ziyati rixele’
rudii guihuinni ti gunaa nandxó’ naaze ti guiiba’ guí
nabani sica gui gusiu zeguyoo. Labe nga
Jñaa ca binni bixooñe’ bisaana xquidxi. Biaani’ gui ná’ be
culuí’ neza guidxilayú sica ñaca cabeza ne guidubi ladxidó’ binni gueeda;
lube nacha’hui’ cayapa ruaa nisadó’ ra didi bitiqui ruquiidi ca guidxi cuachi.
¡Lagapa, guidxi yooxho’ ca’, ca guenda gubeedxe’ za’bi’ bi’nitu!, rinaba’ rídxibe
ne ruaabe ze’gu’: Lagudii naa ca binni ma bidiiñe xtitu, ca binni zí’,
ca binni birí que guidxela pa neza guilá.
Ca binni zí’ bandaahua zuba xque’la’ guriá nisaró’ xtitu.
Laguseenda’ laacabe ra nuaa’, ca ni que gapa ni go, ca ni caguinñe dxiiña’ yuudxu’ rúnitu.
¡Naa rindisa’ guiiba’ biaani’ xtinne’ ruaa nisadó’ guchi goole di’!

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