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

Crack willow branch

August 2021 Poetry Feature

IAIN TWIDDY
Across the washes, planted on the banks, / crack willow held the drains and dykes in place, / kept them in line, kept them cleanly going, / just as the water, glupping along, fed them, // and then their pollarded branches might be / woven into hives to snaffle eels overnight.

House in Colombia

Translation: “The House” by José Ardila

JOSÉ ARDILA
After my father’s death, the house became an inexhaustible mystery. Suddenly, these rooms that had been empty all our lives demanded exploration. And for a good long while my mother and I would adventure alone among dust and bugs and old trunks.

July 2021 Poetry Feature: Burlin Barr

BURLIN BARR
but the wolf tree was there and there was a place where // trophies hung: entire / bodies slung there in semi permanence // turning into everything / imaginable between a fresh body and shit and a variety // of trash; except Otis; he kept his right in front / of the house even