After the Storm / Después de la Tormenta

By MARA PASTOR
Translated by MARÍA JOSÉ GIMÉNEZ

Dozens of cars
wait in line
for a little fuel.

At the gas station
they’re waiting for a ladder
that leads to a generator.

Faith is waiting
in this line
for the machine to work.

We want
a little fuel
to reach our village
and see if our house is still standing.

We want gas
as our honeymoon.

All verbal forms
are unlikely options.

What remains of the scenery
is people lined up
waiting
for a machine to work.

//

Decenas de carros
esperan en la fila
por un poco de combustible.

En la gasolinera
esperan por una escalera
que lleve a un generador.

La fe es esperar
en esta fila
a que la máquina funcione.

Nosotros queremos
un poco de combustible
para llegar a nuestro pueblo
y ver si nuestra casa sigue en pie.

Queremos gasolina
como luna de miel.

Todas las formas verbales
son opciones improbables.

Lo que queda de paisaje
es gente alineada
esperando
a que la máquina funcione.

Mara Pastor is a Puerto Rican poet. Her works include the translated chapbooks As Though the Wound Had Heard and Children of Another Hour, and, in Spanish, Sal de Magnesio, Arcadian Boutique, and Poemas para Fomentar el Turismo. She lives in Ponce, Puerto Rico. 

María José Giménez is a poet, translator, and editor who has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Banff International Literary Translation Centre, and the Katharine Bakeless Nason Endowment. Assistant translation editor of Anomaly, Giménez is the translator of Tilting at Mountains (Edurne Pasaban), Red, Yellow, Green (Alejandro Saravia), and As Though the Wound Had Heard (Mara Pastor). 

[Purchase Issue 16 here.]

After the Storm / Después de la Tormenta

Related Posts

poetry feature image

January 2021 Poetry Feature: Bruce Bond

BRUCE BOND
I was just another creature crawling from the mausoleum, / and I thought, so this is it, the place in the final chapter / where I am judged for all my cruelties, blunders, failures of attention, / and I waited for the furies to take me, or some such host. / But it was just another morning.

Sky full of comets

Poems in Translation from Bestia di gioia

MARIANGELA GUALTIERI
And he soars / saved, outstretched / untouched by the gravity that pins us / down / we deserters of empty spaces and heights / shadows cast / into modest taverns for a bite. / Heads in capitals / of rust. / A lifetime annuity of darkness. / Only a cry can save us now.

poetry feature image

December 2020 Poetry Feature: Denise Duhamel and Jeffrey Harrison

DENISE DUHAMEL
Where was I / when I was 20? I’d already been accepted / as an exchange student, taking my first plane ride / to London where I’d catch a train / to Wales. On that first flight, I sat next to a woman / in a shawl—how old was she? It’s hard to say.