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

Image of dental floss on red background

September 2020 Poetry Feature

BRUCE BOND
What you have heard is half true, half forgotten. / It’s what we have, a rubric written in old / blood whose spirit of inclusion admits / the occasional invention, the apocryphal / goat at midnight, for one, who has broken / down the gate again, and wandered through...

The book cover for Ricardo Maldonado's "The Life Assignment"

Poems From The Life Assignment

RICARDO ALBERTO MALDONADO
I feel from dignity and calm. I, / anxiety grabbed me // with sciatica, although I recited poems / at a stone’s throw, inside the machine // elevator. The clattering of the empire / its capital / an arsenal of pain, it made for a rough // odor. Now can you see the monument?

Golden Eagle Michael Eastman

Ghost Town

SALLY BALL & MICHAEL EASTMAN 
St. Louis is the center of this series: middle-class (or once middle-class) St. Louis, and the layers of depletion and reinvigoration and depletion-again-anyway-despite that are visible in the facades boarded over, or enlivened (once) with murals, or not painted going on 30-40 years.