Dois poemas traduzidos para Inglês

The cat and the house

In houses where people have lived
there’s always a cat left behind
with a huge head and slow-moving body
scattered about the desolation of the place

It maintains the temperature in the kitchen
scratches the walls and its thoughts
dwell subservient in the rooms
and the hours of sunshine around the garden

But the houses beneath the trees
still long for other men
on their wounded knees in the inner rooms
men who occupy them and raise a hand to them
as forks full of a terrible hunger

And ask afterwards where to stretch their arms
until the space takes on the shape of a family
of a bell jar mixed with a crucifix
and a latent intention to procreate

The cats take fright at the houses in disarray
and grumble until the first cars come
to take up all the marked places
and there is only the scorching locus of guilt

Then they die far from these houses
and the anxieties with retracted claws
But when they are born again
they are as beautiful as lightening
and take days to caress an idea

They open their eyes at children
and men as docile as food
and appear when they want
in many places at the same time

They’re like revelations
they’re the promised texts
with the mark of renovation
and in their eyes the serpent that cradles
the body of the penitent
then they sleep
as if they were raised
in a house curled up in winter


The abolition of frontiers
The frontiers were beautiful full of women in uniform
with vivid colouring and imperious heads of hair
longing to be crossed
Solemn frontiers when covered in cold
in the press of the crowd
like trenches lined with papers in triplicate
and sown with lives in transit

They were factories of nationalities
with rubber stamps scattered along the periphery
in rough lines between the mountains
They were the maximum decentralisation of a state
the outside stretched to the seams
to contain the implosion of the territory
And these women unraveling a glass smile
and ordering an impure love for the exiles

(in Cartas de Praga/Letters From Prague, translated by Patricia Odber de Baubeta)

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