The Spanish Riveter: [STRAPS] by María Ángeles Pérez López, translated by Lucina Schell

Straps that hold suspended words
to the inflexible wheel of the mouth, 
fetters of saying and not saying. 

Rust violates the gums, the dark vaults of thirst. 
In their terror the vowels sicken.
There is dirty light in the apron of time,
flies buzzing around the bazaars of rage, 
lumps of neglect in each litre of milk
in freezers where the poverty line creeps up. 

Forms of purification, heart-hardeners,
butchers’ hooks that bleed rosy lunged animals dry 
–one is Eastern and the other Western–.
Each animal meets its suffering,
ever innocent in its suffering.
And with their dense and sticky drop
the earth fertilises the apple trees,
the fruit that is equally innocent. 

Nonetheless, when chewing and writing 
letters of air on its gravely wounded body, 
the mouth leaves behind a trail of seeds. 
Omnivorous and feverish, it chooses 
also to beg compassion from the metals, 
to ask the fetters to liberate
their prey with a slash of the dagger 
that flashes like an unexpected sun. 
May the straps set loose the words. 
May the metals have compassion. 

by María Ángeles Pérez López

Translated by Lucina Schell

Unpublished. Published by permission of Vaso Roto & the translator.

Read The Spanish Riveter here or order your paper copy from here.

Buy books from The Spanish Riveter through the European Literature Network’s The Spanish Riveter page.

María Ángeles Pérez López is a Spanish poet, editor and professor, who teaches at the Universidad de Salamanca. The author of over a dozen collections, she has won numerous prizes, including most recently the Premio de la Crítica de poesía en español in 2022.

Lucina Schell is an international rights manager and a member of the Third Coast Translators Collective. Her translations include Daiana Henderson’s So That Something Remains Lit and Vision of the Children of Evil by Miguel Ángel Bustos, as well as selections from authors including Erika Martínez, Graciela Cros and Ada Salas.

Category: The Spanish RiveterThe RiveterTranslations


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *