Domestic Towel nominated for the Pushcart Prize [EN/PT]



I’ve just been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize, with the poem “Domestic Towel”, published in 2012.

“The Pushcart Prize – Best of the Small Presses series, published every year since 1976, is the most honored literary project in America. Hundreds of presses and thousands of writers of short stories, poetry and essays have been represented in the pages of our annual collections. Writers who were first noticed here include: Raymond Carver, Tim O’Brien, Jayne Anne Phillips, Charles Baxter, Andre Dubus, Susan Minot, Mona Simpson, John Irving, Rick Moody, and many more.”



Domestic Towel [EN]

(Translation: Alexis Levitin)

Don’t leave your kiss on the table. The fruit
is rotting as it waits, the meat is growing cold
and when you shake the table cloth the kiss heads for the garbage
with the bread crumbs, heads for the washing machine
to contort itself (their bodies) drowning in vain.
You know it is just another drop in so much waste.
The table cloth stretched in the sun isn’t really cleaner,
it’s just a weave of a string of deaths. But I
claw out a crack through which I can escape untouched,
the dress crumpled (from his hands)
thrown on the floor. There are creases in the embrace
upon the bed, immortal blows in every cry
that drops from throat to legs,
while the washer counts its watery
rotations as if it were the world in raw flesh
with trees born in the blaze of their leaves.
But even this world is conditional. The towel
is on the ironing board, the cotton
burning hot suffers only a domestic warmth
to remove perhaps some mark remaining from those
stoked lips, that naked table creaking from the movement
of the earth. Now you feel the revolution (in her womb),
the warm juice of the fruits overflowing the cup
where you drink me without measuring your thirst.
But already useful hands are folding up the towel. Just
one more corpse for the chest of drawers
carefully stacked upon the others.
The printed pattern of red flowers
torments your sleep and eats away your days
as if the kiss (trembling in their mouths)
were come to wound with love the thinness of your death
and you, impaled above the fields of wheat
like a scarecrow frightening away the crows of joy.



Toalha Doméstica [PT]

Não deixes o beijo sobre a mesa. Os frutos
apodrecem à espera, a carne está a ficar fria
e quando sacodes a toalha o beijo vai para o lixo
com as migalhas, vai para a máquina de lavar
contorcer-se (o corpo deles) a afogar-se em vão.
Tu sabes que é só mais um de tanto desperdício.
A toalha estendida ao sol não está mais limpa,
é apenas o tecido das mortes sucessivas. Mas eu
esgalho a fresta por onde escapo ilesa,
o vestido amarrotado (das mãos dele)
atirado ao chão. Há vincos no abraço
sobre a cama, golpes imortais em cada grito
que desce da garganta pelas pernas,
enquanto a máquina conta as rotações
da água como se fosse o mundo em carne viva
com árvores nascidas no incêndio das folhas.
Mas até este mundo é condicional. A toalha
está na tábua de passar a ferro, o algodão
em brasa sofre apenas um calor doméstico
a tirar acaso alguma marca que ficou dos lábios
atiçados, da mesa nua a ranger no movimento
da terra. Sentes agora a translação (no ventre dela),
o suco quente dos frutos a transbordar a taça
onde me bebes sem medir a sede.
Mas já as mãos úteis dobram a toalha. Será apenas
mais um cadáver guardado no armário
cuidadosamente empilhado sobre os outros.
As flores estampadas de vermelho
atormentam-te o sono e definham os dias
como se o beijo (a tremer na boca deles)
viesse ferir de amor a escassez da tua morte
e tu ficasses empalado sobre os campos de trigo
como um espantalho a afugentar os corvos da alegria.



22.04.13

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