There Was No Plot

translated by 
A photograph of a door in a pink wall through which we can see another doorway that opens into an orange room
Photo: Analusie Gamboa / Unsplash

There were neither plots nor characters,
only places. Neighborhoods sliced
in half. Terraces and corridors
between roofless rooms. Profiles only. 
Staggered
spaces. Far off a group
was sucked up
into its own restlessness: the after-dinner
conversation, the waiting, shuffle between 
one door and another, shifts
in posture; remarks that from here,
where you hurried to leave, 
were already beyond hearing.

Translation from the Spanish

Coral Bracho’s (b. 1951) early work altered the landscape of Mexican poetry. She is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the Aguascalientes National Poetry Prize, Xavier Villaurrutia Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Bracho has collaborated with several painters and is a member of Mexico’s National Organization of Artists.

Forrest Gander’s (forrestgander.com) most recent books are Be With (poems); Alice Iris Red Horse: Selected Poems, by Gozo Yoshimasu; and The Galloping Hour: French Poems, by Alejandra Pizarnik (with Patricio Ferrari). He lives in northern California. He translated Bracho’s collected poems, Firefly under the Tongue (New Directions).

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