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Franz Marc. The Bewitched Mill, 1913. The Art Institute of Chicago.

Language: Spanish
Poet: Ignacio Elizalde Johnson
Translator: Thania Muñoz D.
Region: Chile

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half-built with syllables

A poem by Ignacio Elizalde Johnson, translated from Spanish by Thania Muñoz D.

Ignacio Elizalde Johnson was born in Santiago, Chile, 1986. His first book of poetry, Animales Flotantes was published with the collective “La Faunita” in 2010. He self-published Hilar el nombre de la casa in 2021 in San Ignacio, Valdivia (Chile), where he lives and teaches courses on Tarot, writing, and literature.

Thania Muñoz D. is a translator, poet, and scholar. Her writing and translations have appeared in Catafixia, Fence, La BlogaCatedral TomadaThe Latin American Literary Review & others. She is an Assistant Professor of Latinx and Latin American literature at UMBC and the Managing Editor and Founder of Latin@ Literatures.

La Era de Piscis

es que por donde mires
no es cierto
un error
no debe haber playa a esta hora
pero hasta donde hay error
en el mar oscuro que gime
en que el viento parpadea
y se vuelve sombra
o lo que sea
hay otro río caudaloso
que desborda por estos lados
cerquita de una cicatriz no ha mucho abierta
y ha llegado hasta la orilla como algo circunstancial
algo de amor le oí decir
en esa maldita casa que flota por ahí
a medias construida con sílabas
pero más acá
siempre un poco más acá
la luna se llena como un huevo
para mostrarse esplendorosa tras el monte
tras los nubarrones
las estrellas mastican el pasto
con esa tranquilidad envidiable
sin empaparse de luz
a pesar de los chubascos ocasionales
que empapan lo más terrible
es que nada
no nos corresponde
es Abril y lo más terrible
es que lo es
no hay explicaciones para esto
tiembla cuando se cruza la playa con los labios
a punto de sonrojarse
y arroja una luz que arde en las entrañas
y no es hondura
ni menos alegría
es estar en la quebrada
abarcando la playa, la luna y el monte
y entonces
sólo entonces
ya no tiembla.

The Age of Pisces

whatever you look
it is not true
an error
there shouldn’t be a beach at this time
but even where you can find errors
in the dark moaning sea
in the wind that blinks
and turns into shadows
or whatever
there is another swift-flowing river
that spills over close to here
very near a recently opened scar
and it has made it to the edge as something circumstantial
something about love I hear it say
in that damned house that floats somewhere
half-built with syllables
but closer to here
always closer to here
the moon fills up like an egg
to show herself radiant behind the hill
behind the storms
the stars chew grass
with enviable tranquility
without drenching themselves with light
in spite of the occasional downpour
that drenches the most terrible
it is nothing
it does not belong to us
it is April and the most terrible thing is
that it just is
there is no explanation for this
it shakes when we cross the beach with our lips
about to blush
and it gives away a light that burns our guts
and it is not depth
even less happiness
it is to be in the ravine
taking over the beach, the moon and the hill
and then
only then
it stops shaking