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Ivón Gordon Vailakis

Laughter dropped out

Laughter dropped out of you for living in the wrong kind of world
now you live in favor of fading away

you set up at each corner, so rosy
and give out pamphlets to people
who have forgotten how to read

and you give yourself away in all forms of nakedness and plenty
shouting at those who donít listen
because the happy heart listens only to itself

and you give them a thank-you for turning an ordinary day into ashes
and you slip away.

Translated by J. C. Todd and the author.

She carries in her womb

She carries in her womb an odor of mire
she doesnít feel the bodyís strong, uneven quiver
a tug comes down from never
pulls her to her knees, the ground
like a river flowing between her legs
a contraction that binds uterus to spine
lets loose
a wing, broken
without a yelp without breath
spattering her shoes
a thread of blood
that runs off
into thick mud.

Translated from the Spanish by J. C. Todd and the author.

Woman in the corner

Woman in the corner, rundown
filling a space already taken, you
by each mouthful, each roll on the pillows

I sensed you
opening yourself to the world
you, subrosa, shrugging off its uproar

a wound, a woman
split open
you roused yourself, wet

your fingers thrust out, a grievance
leaving me open
to a presence
that we are not, neither you, nor I.

Translated by J. C. Todd.