Some things I have to say aren't getting said in this snowy, blonde, blue-eyed, gum chewing English, dawn's early light sifting through the persianas closed the night before by dark-skinned girls whose words evoke cama, aposento, suenos in nombres from that first word I can't translate from Spanish. Gladys, Rosario, Altagracia--the sounds of Spanish wash over me like warm island waters as I say your soothing names: a child again learning the nombres of things you point to in the world before English turned sol, tierra, cielo, luna to vocabulary words-- sun, earth, sky, moon--language closed like the touch-sensitive morivivir. whose leaves closed when we kids poked them, astonished. Even Spanish failed us when we realized how frail a word is when faced with the thing it names. How saying its name won't always summon up in Spanish or English the full blown genii from the bottled nombre. Gladys, I summon you back with your given nombre to open up again the house of slatted windows closed since childhood, where palabras left behind for English stand dusty and awkward in neglected Spanish. Rosario, muse of el patio, sing in me and through me say that world again, begin first with those first words you put in my mouth as you pointed to the world-- not Adam, not God, but a country girl numbering the stars, the blades of grass, warming the sun by saying el sol as the dawn's light fell through the closed persianas from the gardens where you sang in Spanish, Esta son las mananitas, and listening, in bed, no English yet in my head to confuse me with translations, no English doubling the world with synonyms, no dizzying array of words, --the world was simple and intact in Spanish awash with colores, luz, suenos, as if the nombres were the outer skin of things, as if words were so close to the world one left a mist of breath on things by saying their names, an intimacy I now yearn for in English-- words so close to what I meant that I almost hear my Spanish blood beating, beating inside what I say en ingles.