Your Memory, a poem by Victor Terán, translated by David Shook

Your Memory

Nostalgia has me boxed
in the stupid wall of this afternoon.
Someone somewhere bastes in happiness
beneath the fresh shade of love.
The earth is like a great comal*
above God’s hot coals.
Gnomes hop across red-hot paths
while a dog
compulsively licks her vulva, then wanders southward.

Console my soul, clumsy air,
spill into my eyes the deepest dream,
a dense dream and distant like death.

I recall the fingers of your hand,
your bony fingers.
My eyes choke for the moons of your lips.
Your memory has me nailed to the lukewarm afternoon
and I resemble the shadow of a body buried yesterday,
a shadow that looks to the north, to the south,
that seeks, without finding, the path.

Forgetting exists.
Maybe because of this, God doesn’t die.
Who said
that if someone can walk over coals
they can also do it over the wind?

Laugh at me please, you told me
while the fierce metal of the phrase
I wish you all the best sunk into the pit of my love,
while you told me we won’t see each other anymore.

Laugh shadow
or beat it to look for your skeleton!

The meat of my memories
hangs in strips at the grocer’s
because of the blind wind of your lips.

Xhiuuba’ be

Nutaabi yuuba’ guendarietenala’dxi’ ladxiduá’
cue’ lindaa huadxí te di’.
Nuu tu zuba caguiba xquendanayeche’
xa’na’ yaga baca’nda’ xti’ ti guendaranaxhii la?
Guidxilayú ri’ naca  ti dxia naro’ba’ qui gapa xhibia’
candaabi’ lu xté diuxi.
Binidxaba’ canaguyaa lu neza
laga ti bi’cu’ nagola
zixupila’na’ xcuaana’ gundagaa guete’.

Gudaabi’ ladxiduá’ bi sisi,
gudaa ti bacaanda’ do’ ndaani’ ca bezaluá’,
ti bacaanda’ do’ ziuula’ sica ziuula’ guendaguti.

Rietenala’dxe’ ca bicuininá’ be,
ca bicuininá’ lase’ be.
Rabixhinni bezaluá’ runi ca beeu guidiruaa be.
Nutaabi xhiuuba’ be naa cué’ huadxí yanda di’
ne rilué’ xpandá’ ti gue’tu’ bigaachi’ neegue’,
bandá’ ruyadxi guiá’, ruyadxi guete’,
nisi bieque rudii ra zuhuaa.

Nabani guendarusiaanda’.
Zándaca runi nga diuxi qui huayati.
Tuungue ná,
pa sou’ lu gui
zazou’ lu bi, que?

Bixidxila’ gúdxibe naa
laga cutaabi be guiiba’ diidxa’
Sicarú guyé ti’xhi’ xquendaranaxhiee’,
laga cayabi be naa  Ma’ qui zadu’yanu .

Bixidxi la’ bandá’
pacaa guyé yeyubi dxitaládilu’.

Nanda reza larindxó’
guendarietenala’dxi’ xtinne’ lu doo
runi bi yooxho’ guidiruaa be.

From the Poetry Translation Centre

First published in World Literature Today.

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