Apr/May 2003 Poetry

Two Poems and a Translation

by Silvia Antonia Brandon Pérez


Banquet for One

She carefully pared the carrots for the stew,
told him clearly he was naught
but a bit of nonsense,
a lackadaisal organic misfeasance
lacking spine or drive
or the wherewithal for life
absent the eversuffering spouse,
caring child, or laboring mother,
and then she set a place for one:
white lace napkin folded on the right
of her best china plate, fork, spoon, knife
of polished sterling, a small delphinium
in an elegant cut glass vase
to the left of the wineglass,
a dry and good Chablis, well-chilled,
and served him dinner:
a cleaned, well-seasoned plate
with figured artichokes,
fresh-baked hot Cuban bread
slathered with virgin olive oil and garlic,
a dash of arsenic in the black bean soup,
and cream cheese flan, his favorite,
with mantecado ice cream for dessert.


Lament of a Bird

When the soul becomes uneven,
one hears the roar of lions and
the thunder of churchbells.
In the skies, birds flutter anxiously;
crows, sad, noble bearers
of old and onerous news,
sing psalms to death.


Lamento del pájaro

Cuando el alma se desnivela,
además del rugido de leones
se escucha un trueno de campanas,
en el cielo los pájaros revolotean ansiosos,
los cuervos, tristes, nobles, portadores
de noticias viejas y onerosas,
le cantan salmos a la muerte.


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