Translation

By Aili Olichney ’16

It began as an exercise.
I wanted you to know what the book I was reading meant,
every word.
Hay un abedul que solloza en cada parque.
[There is a sobbing birch tree in every park.
In every park there is a birch tree
find a synonym
weeping.]

las caricias la piel el horizonte
[caresses skin horizon]
ese decir palabras sin sentido
[saying words without sense]

One poem each day
brought to you in my ribbon lines.
Every word presented a possible misinterpretation,
and each had a reason to be.

And then one day, the book was done.
And there was still so much you didn’t understand.

“What if I stay the night?” you asked.

“I don’t know. I need a full night’s sleep.”
[I
find a synonym
know. I need to be alone.
I don’t have time to wash the sheets tomorrow.
The bed cannot smell of you.]

I continued,
“Last night I dreamt I fled from you in a car
and woke knowing I had dreamt this once before
and slept again
and the dream repeated
and when it reached its supposed end
for what would be the third time
it didn’t finish.
New images tagged onto the ending,
faces appearing and disappearing into the fog
a clown wearing a sheet,
a man pissing on the moon.”

“What does it mean?”

“Nothing”
[Cars are made to get away in. You are made to get away from.
You repeat for me. The bed cannot smell of you. I love]
“Nothing”
[Cars are made to
find a synonym
escape in. You are made to … escape from.
You run on repeat. The bed smells of you. omission]

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