A poem by Sara Emanuel Viloria, translated from the Spanish by David Brunson.

I’m gathering red onion skins in the kitchen
To make myself a bouquet of peonies.
I’m recycling all the fire in stubs of smoked
Gathering the ashes, swifts who never wished to be
A phoenix.
I wash off all traces of early mornings alone.
I pour water in cups, wine in glasses,
Salt in bowls of soup,
Bitter coffee on my tongue.
I use curiosity like seasoning.
The house is my experiment.
The ants flee. I am a tyrant.
But the light lingers, prisms caress my eyelashes,
My ears and my eyes.
I’m afraid, but I’ve never felt so sure of my steps.
Boards creak beneath my feet.
Cats are walking, they lick me.
We are at war with the buses honking outside.
We ignore them.
We accept the noise, at home we always accept.
We slow down, we consume ourselves.
My pillows dream of themselves.
My dreams are extinguished.
What are they?
Jesús brought me rare cigarettes from Brazil,
Books with beautiful pages.
Cilantro leaves caress the window.
The lentils cook next to the purple teapot.
Monotony is a lovely island
Where the world stops.
I’m the one who turns and stumbles over my shadow.
For someone who only knows shipwrecks,
It doesn’t matter how many rivers may be close to home.
The cat’s water fountain
Sounds gentle
And I wash myself, like Sexton:
I am a watercolor. / I wash off.
And perhaps the reflection on the polished floor
Accuses me of existing.


tSara Emanuel Victoria & David Brunson