False Ice Cream Shop / Falsa Heladería

By MARA PASTOR
Translated by MARÍA JOSÉ GIMÉNEZ

She asked me for an ice cream machine.
When she said it her collarbones were pronounced.
They were beginning to wilt,
but her skin was the flesh of coconut itself.
She wanted a machine to make ice cream,
to sell it in the neighborhood
and pay for the maintenance
of houses she no longer inhabits.
It didn’t matter that she had returned
from a post-war city.
To remodel the interiors of an Ottoman past.
Nothing mattered.
There was no work on this island.
I wish I could tell her:
“The ice cream machine will fix everything.”

//

Ella me pidió una máquina para hacer helado.
Cuando lo dijo tenía las clavículas pronunciadas.
Empezaban a marchitarse,
pero su piel era la carne misma del coco.
Quería una máquina para hacer helado,
venderlos en la urbanización
y así pagar el mantenimiento
de las casas que ya no habita.
Nada importó haber regresado
de una ciudad en postguerra.
Remodelar los interiores de un pasado otomano.
Nada importó.
No había trabajo en esta isla.
Yo quisiera decirle:
“La máquina de hacer helado lo arreglará todo”.

 

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.]

False Ice Cream Shop / Falsa Heladería

Related Posts

Papasquiaro

Mario Santiago Papasquiaro: Two Poems in Translation

MARIO SANTIAGO PAPASQUIARO
The sea touches our bodies / to feel its body / The same in rocky Manzanillo / as in Neviot / coral island of the desert / We return its salten smile / sketching our names & cravings / on the shells of crabs / that seem to be hunting for wooden legs swallowed by the sand.

Image of Book Cover

Review: Rewriting the Body

Meg Kearney
What does it mean to “rewrite the body?” To dive deeply and lose ourselves in Wyatt Townley’s fourth book of poems, we must think of “body” as physical human frame; body as door, as house; body as a lifetime’s work, needing to be revised, re-visioned, reclaimed.

Image of poetry feature logo

September 2019 Poetry Feature: From CROWN DECLINE

JOHN KINSELLA
I tried to examine the river in profile. / Eyes stuck open in silt — warm and cold bands / of current beneath speedboat oil slick prism. / Ear nose and throat infections were bivalves. / Flow was staccato in sections, though mulloway / ran fast and I followed.