Illustration by Kat Morgan

The dead are alive—
waxen scarecrows
of rotten joy.

The dead are laughing
in the broken mirror (their teeth
hollow; their eyes
like dried out pods).

They do not think that they will disappear
into the amusement park
of nothingness. On the contrary,

this is where they are. In the fitness centers
of the soul; in the three branches
of insanity.

Don’t search for them in cemeteries,
for there lie nothing but gravestones
and frozen capsules.

Seek them in secret
villainies, in the funk of discord.

Without the passage of blood
and the flame that welcomes
raw sentiments,
they are free to wound,
because a shell is all they are.

Now, they can be a plus, post-
human like a chip.

Salgado Maranhão

Salgado Maranhão has won of all of Brazil's major poetry awards and toured the United States five times, presenting his work at over one hundred colleges and universities. In addition to fourteen books of poetry, he has written song lyrics and made recordings with some of Brazil’s leading jazz and pop musicians. He has published four collections of his work in English: Blood of the Sun (Milkweed Editions, 2012), Tiger Fur (White Pine Press, 2015), Palavora (Dialogos Books, 2019), and Mapping the Tribe (Spuyten Duyvil, 2020). A fifth collection, Consecration of the Wolves, is coming out from Bitter Oleander Press in 2021.

Alexis Levitin

Alexis Levitin has published forty-six books in translation, mostly poetry from Portugal, Brazil, and Ecuador. In addition to four books by Salgado Maranhão, his work includes Clarice Lispector’s Soulstorm and Eugénio de Andrade’s Forbidden Words, both from New Directions. He has served as a Fulbright Lecturer at the Universities of Oporto and Coimbra, Portugal; The Catholic University in Guayaquil, Ecuador; and the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil. He has held translation residencies at the Banff Center in Canada; The European Translators Collegium in Straelen, Germany (twice); and the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio, Italy.