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A Splinter

Ivón Gordon Vailakis
translated by J. C. Todd

A splinter — stuck
in your little finger
the streets cloudy with aromas
a mishmash of bare feet
and pork rind fried in lard
and husks of smoked corn
shushed by their silks
and you want to return
another time
and you put yourself where you were before
and each time you do
those streets underfoot stink of piss, of memory
of tripa mishki as if someone were there  
and left the scent of his footprint at the corner
on the pavement, the sprinkle
of his water
and the odors are muddled with diesel fumes
and you step on board even though it means
shoving your way through
and there's the splinter
poking up from your fingertip.

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

La astilla se mete

La astilla se mete
en el dedo meñique
por las calles llenas de nubes de olor
a la locura de los pies descalzos
a la fritada recosida en manteca
a las hojas de maíz ahumadas
con el pelo del silencio
y quieres volver
otra vez
y vuelves
y cada vez que lo haces
esas calles huelen a orines del recuerdo
a tripa mishki de alguien que estuvo allí
y dejó su huella en la esquina rociada
en el pavimento en el agua
que gotea
y los olores que se confunden con el humo diesel
y te metes aunque sea
a empujones
y encuentras que la astilla
se ha encaramado.

Return to Recurrence in Another Tongue:
An Anthology of Translations

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