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Poetry

Someone Around Here is Looking for an Equation

By José María Lima
Translated from Greek by Juan Carlos Flores
My fingernails grow; they reach the ceiling.

I listen to the sounds, in this room;
the house must be settling.
I smell me everywhere, I remember the first body.
            Finger insistent, upright; wanting to speak.
I hear something, perhaps horses, running outside.
I sketch with my nail. You sit beside me and watch.
            Weak stomach; dreaming of horses.
The room, the evening, drowns. I sleep.
Another body—it intervenes, watches me.
            My fingernails grow; they reach the ceiling.
            They break through and water gushes in, tons.
                                                          [Clothes everywhere; I don’t recognize them.]
I don’t want to know who’s watching the water fill the room.
            I hope he gets clean; otherwise drowns.
                                                                                          [Sounds inside and out.]
I look at the ceiling,
where my nails end. I dream a new body.
            I don’t know who it belongs to.
I listen to the sounds.

I sowed bodies, and now reap clothes.

Translation of “Kapios edo giro anazita mian eksisosi.” Copyright Dimitris Athinakis. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2010 by Karen Emmerich. All rights reserved.

English

I listen to the sounds, in this room;
the house must be settling.
I smell me everywhere, I remember the first body.
            Finger insistent, upright; wanting to speak.
I hear something, perhaps horses, running outside.
I sketch with my nail. You sit beside me and watch.
            Weak stomach; dreaming of horses.
The room, the evening, drowns. I sleep.
Another body—it intervenes, watches me.
            My fingernails grow; they reach the ceiling.
            They break through and water gushes in, tons.
                                                          [Clothes everywhere; I don’t recognize them.]
I don’t want to know who’s watching the water fill the room.
            I hope he gets clean; otherwise drowns.
                                                                                          [Sounds inside and out.]
I look at the ceiling,
where my nails end. I dream a new body.
            I don’t know who it belongs to.
I listen to the sounds.

I sowed bodies, and now reap clothes.

Translation of “Kapios edo giro anazita mian eksisosi.” Copyright Dimitris Athinakis. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2010 by Karen Emmerich. All rights reserved.

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