A Luis Miguel Navas lo cortaron en pedacitos / Ana Lucía De Bastos

They Cut Luis Miguel Navas into Little Pieces

When we got home there were some men on the roof of the building. Não é teto, é telhado, my uncle said correcting me. This is how the word becomes a border, the face is not a stamp, because it has another name. The parasol, on the other hand, is a parasol from below and from above, just like the carpet: the side that grazes the floor and the other that grazes my feet. The roof and the ceiling are inseparable but different, an otherness found at our back. What covers my head é teto, what protects us from the sun and rain, é telhado.

And what do we call the reverse side of the skin? I stick my finger in my mouth, where it’s no longer cheek but teto: all such living flesh. I bite the inside of my cheek, which is neither gums nor lips. It’s damp and contains my breath, a tunnel with an entrance for light before it becomes throat, which isn’t neck, and we sink into the covered darkness of the dorso, the one that supports blood, viscera and bones.

Translator’s note: The original Spanish version of this poem, along with a recording of the author reading it, can be found at La maja desnuda.

{ Ana Lucía De Bastos, Y ahora extiéndeme al sol, Caracas: Bid & Co. Editor, 2014 }

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