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Esfera de Vidro em Campo de Batalha

By
October 27, 2004

 

Esfera de Vidro em Campo de Batalha

Um falcão passa em vôo rasante, agarra a esfera (garras riscam a superfície)
sobrevoa uma plantação de milho, um rio, uma estrada
com tanques minúsculos e homens marchando em silêncio, outro rio –
desce para beber água, voa contra a corrente, molhando a esfera.
Anoitece devagar. Pequenos pássaros noturnos voam de árvore em árvore.
O falcão mergulha no vão estreito entre dois troncos, pés alinhados com o corpo,
asas semi-abertas. Solta a esfera, ataca.
Um pássaro faminto, outro morto. A esfera rola alguns metros no gramado,
pára. Na manhã ensolarada, um brilho, e os sons –
marcha, ruflar de asas, estilhaços.

Glass Sphere in Battlefield

A falcon passes in hedgehopping, seizes the sphere (talons scratching the surface)
soars over a cornfield, a river, a road with tiny tanks
and men marching in silence, a hill, another river –
comes down to drink, flies upstream, wetting the sphere.

Gradually dark. Small nightbirds fly from tree to tree.
The falcon dives into the narrow gap between two trunks, legs back,
wings half-open. Releases the sphere, attacks.
One bird hungry, another dead. The sphere rolls a short distance on the grass,
stops. On a sunny morning, a blink, and the sounds –

march, wings fluttering, shells.

[Translated from the Portuguese by the author]

Cidade Desnivelada

Entre a rua número zero
e o mar,
mulheres carregam baldes
com água e saquinhos de pó.

Conversam entre si, risonhas,
crianças penduradas nas saias,
outras casas por limpar –
o dia fora.

Equilibradas nos andaimes
cantam perto de janelas
com larga vista para o mar.

À tarde lavam louça
com excesso de sabão
e recebem telefonemas
anônimos: um antônio,
filho, marido, vizinho.

Ao escurecer
o mar é ruído.
Suor no ônibus,
tons de marrom.

Os baldes vazios deixados
ao pé do morro: água
derramada, pó disperso.

Crianças escondidas nas saias,
nos corredores e becos,
nas curvas esquivas.

Unleveled City

Between street number zero
and the sea,
women carry pails of water
and little bags of powder.

They talk to each other, laughing,
children hanging on their skirts,
other houses to be cleaned –
day out.

Balancing on scaffolds,
they sing near windows
with a broad view of the sea.

Later they wash the dishes
with too much soap
and receive anonymous
calls: an antonio,
son, husband, neighbor.

As it gets dark,
sea becomes noise.
Sweating in the bus,
tones of brown.

The pails left empty
at the bottom of the hill: water
is spilled, the powder dispersed.

Their children hiding in skirts
corridors, alleys, stray.

 

[Translated from the Portuguese by the author]

Flavia Rocha is an editor for the literary magazine Rattapallax (New York) and for Travessa dos Editores press (Curitiba, Brazil). She was a staff writer for the magazines Bravo! and República, among others, and lived in the United States while completing an M.F.A. in Writing at Columbia University. Her first book of poems, The Blue House Around Noon, written in Portuguese and English, is forthcoming this fall. She is also the co-founder of Academia Internacional de Cinema de Curitiba (www.aicccinema.com.br).

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