Sunday, March 29, 2020

Translation is an Act of Love

Somewhere after the second kid you stopped wearing a bra. Your hair grew long and silver, always as if the wind had passed through it or the moon given birth to it. Death puzzles but does not frighten you but the grieving are made to be consoled and in this you are expert. The text we comprise is not unfamiliar to those with eyes to see but the prayers in it are oddly indifferent to their object. So it goes with a grain of sand! You arch your back coming, always a little surprised after, like remembering you like a certain kind of poem. In the story, a man makes pancakes from scratch, eyeing the horizon outside the kitchen windows. In his mind, a wedding is the beginning of a marriage and marriages are microcosmic unities with paternal gods whose blessings are contingent. Yet farther back than he can see, a woman opens a black cloth her mother gave her and uses it to bundle moonlight, dried violets and ladybug wings. In the City of Ancestors - which is the capitol of the Country of Turtles and forbidden to all outsiders save one - a widow smashes her favorite flower pot and buries the shards by her husband's grave. I insist that translation is an act of love. I maintain that infidelities are bruises that can heal. You open your cupped hands to reveal a thousand nesting chickadees. My throat, my ocean, my shoes. My folded sail: my love.

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