The North Wind Whips

by Víctor Terán

The north wind whips through, 
in the streets papers and leaves
are chased with resentment.
Houses moan,
dogs curl into balls.
There is something in
the afternoon's finger,
a catfish spine,
a rusty nail.

Someone unthinkingly
smoked cigarettes in heaven,
left it overcast, listless.
Here, at ground level, no one could
take their shadow for a walk,           
sheltered in their houses, people
are surprised to discover their misery.

Someone didn't show,
their host was insulted.
Today the world
agreed to open her thighs,
suddenly the village comprehends                                 
that it is sometimes necessary to close their doors.

Who can divine
why I meditate on this afternoon?
Why is it birthed in me
to knife the heart
of who uncovered the mouth       
of the now whipping wind,
to jam corncobs in the nose
of the ghost that pants outside?

The trees roar with laughter,
they split their sides,
they celebrate
that you haven't arrived at your appointment.

Now bring me
the birds
that you find in the trees,
so I can tell them
if the devil's eyelashes are curled.           

The literal translation of this poem was made by David Shook

The final translated version of the poem is by David Shook

Notes

This translation was first published in Poetry Magazine

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