Dardaren interpretazioa/ Interpretación de los temblores


Editor: Atenea (Basque/Spanish)
Year: 2004
ISBN: 978-84-95855-38-0
Pages: 115

Foreword by: Ibon Egaña

Poem anthology


There is only one thing more depressing
than a hospital
and it’s not a cemetery
but the regular bus line that goes to the hospital
full of people.
Those people, each with his x-ray under his arm
in an envelope, gaze
in a deep pool that neither you nor I will ever be able to see.
The cradle-smile of a six-year-old in chemotherapy
rends the heart.
Old people holding their x-rays to the light of the window,
“look: it’s that white spot there” they proclaim
and especially those two women you hear talking
over Nine Inch Nails on your walkman,
that struggle to scale the cliff of yesterday’s tears.
“You’ll see, I tell my husband,
you’ll see what walks we’ll take, the two of us,
when they bring us the wheelchair.
They’ll call us the Coyote and the Roadrunner, Ishmael.”
The Coyote and the Roadrunner.
I shiver when I hear that
and then the brave woman adds that the paralysis
has extended to his left hand or maybe to the right.
Each one with his x-ray under his arm,
his quota of cancer, his
abandonment, his glass
eye or his orthopedic glove.
If that doesn’t rend the heart
let them incinerate us until the air becomes an axe.
Ishmael awaits our breath.
We can imagine it:
Ishmael, a person still but perhaps with little time,
playing chess on top of the Scottish blanket
that covers his knees,
sometimes sighing, sometimes smiling,
a person still, Ishmael,
life but not still.
“The Coyote and the Roadrunner, pray as much as you like.
You’ll see
how things are when they bring us the wheelchair.”

Translated by: Kristin Addis