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Under the Cover of Night

Ivón Gordon Vailakis
translated by J. C. Todd

Under the cover of night you skid
one-two-three, before you know it
and you stop turning to
an ounce of starch
for the slip-ups
and you let it all spill out
without knowing why, what for
and go on, not making a sound
voice caught in your throat
through the crossroad going nowhere
with a purpose
measured in a kilo of lemon thyme
and you recall the appointment as
near three in the afternoon
and you skid, stall
and turn the engine over in order to start up.

Ivón Gordon Vailakis, Colibríes en el exilio, Ecuador: El Conejó, 1997.
Translation © J. C. Todd, 2002.

Entre tinieblas te resbalas

Entre tinieblas te resbalas
en un dos por tres
y dejas de recurrir
a los traspiés
por una onza de almidón
y dejas salpicar
sin saber porqué y para qué
y sigues en sigilo
de una voz apagada
por la travesía sin sentido
con una meta
medida en quintales de tomillo
y te acuerdas de la cita
como a eso de las tres de la tarde
y te resbalas y te caes
arrancas el motor para empezar.

Return to Recurrence in Another Tongue:
An Anthology of Translations

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