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April 2012

If love makes the world go ’round, sex is what keeps it spinning, and this month we’re reeling with writing on this most universal of themes. In these stories sex is both subject and object, cause and effect.  See how Fatima al-Ali, Nadine Bismuth, Rubem Fonseca, Mar Gómez Glez, Eduardo Halfon, Fernando Iwasaki, Hanoch Levin, Giulio Mozzi, Felix Palma, Adrian Sangeorzan, Care Santos, and Sebastiano Vassalli address the facts (and fictions) of life. We trust you’ll be seduced.

Beyond this Darkness and this Silence
By Care Santos
The majority of women can’t bear the idea of sleeping with someone they can’t see.
Translated from Spanish by Christina MacSweeney
By Giulio Mozzi
The tongues of flesh were captivating as they rose and fell, row by row, like a wave, the wings moving only slightly.
Translated from Italian by Elizabeth Harris
To Troy, Helen
By Fernando Iwasaki
She had undressed me then as if she were peeling a piece of fruit.
Translated from Spanish by Jeremy Osner
The Hunchback and Botticelli’s Venus
By Rubem Fonseca
A hunchback either becomes impotent or burns in a fire of lasciviousness that never cools for a single instant, like the heat of hell.
Translated from Portuguese by Clifford E. Landers
The Ringing Body
By Fatima Yousef al-Ali
I’m passionately in love with your voice . . . only your voice.
Translated from Arabic by William Maynard Hutchins
By Sebastiano Vassalli
I am a thief of strong emotions. I listen to the moans and shouts of others.
Translated from Italian by Gregory Conti
Good Women and Bad Women
By Eduardo Halfon
I want to know where you got this filth.
Translated from Spanish by Daniel Hahn
The Bicycle Factory
By Adrian Sângeorzan
What was better: to lie in the ground with a uterus or to live above it without one?
Translated from Romanian by Jean Harris
The Sex Life of the Writer
By Nadine Bismuth
The more a man cultivates the arts the less he fornicates.
Translated from French by Alison Strayer
By Félix J. Palma
With even more refined manners I propose she sticks a ballpoint up the cat’s rectum.
Translated from Spanish by Nick Caistor & Amanda Hopkinson
By Hanoch Levin
They plumb in crude terms the physical attributes of her desired but unobtainable physique.
Translated from Hebrew by Atar Hadari
The Schoolyard
By Mar Gómez Glez
I was three and he was four.
Translated from Spanish by Sarah Thomas