From draft to draft, I see the translator’s
tension headache, a grind of molars.
Despierto entonces de mi propio
the close of Gabriela Mistral’s poem
grito,Awaken myself with my own
Langston Hughes translates
at first. Eventually, he realizes:
screaming but crying!
Awaken myself with my own
A familiar thrill: archive. A striptease
as old journals unveil sweet nothings.
Near my sublet, a young man hollering crying!mami
could be interpreted as a gesture of belonging.
I slurp an helado in front of CTown
as thunder claps in the distant rain.
My first night in Fair Haven, I woke up crying,
alone again with a stipend but no friends.
My second night, I woke up screaming,
Revision, the difference between sensations
which lurch us from sleep. I knew then how
woke me. I had no son. No home.
No world. Only a pencil. Only my hand
caring about such trifles. I rock the raw meat
of my body, and my pulse mills the beat
of an affect translated through me, a feeling
we all know, yet remains, somehow, mi propio grito untranslated.