Fabián Severo trans. by Jesse Lee Kercheval & Laura Cesarco Eglin
night in the north
I am going to write the memories down so I won’t forget.
the afternoons in Artigas
belong to the cicadas.
Artigas is closed with a padlock.
Artigas is Sunday.
Artigas doesn’t have a president.
Artigas talks and dances with those people
but works and eats with these.
Artigas had a sky full of stars
a river full of fish
country green with trees
earth brilliant with stones
but someone’s taken it all some other place
and we were left with nothing.
I see that everyone leaves
to wander through the world.
They say there’s life out there.
I do not know
I only know this city.
Once I went to Montevideo
and I almost went mad.
why so many people?
I don’t go where the buses go
because I’m afraid I wouldn’t find the things I like.
in the mornings
I see lit bulbs
in doorways with nylon curtains
and dogs stretched out
Numbers painted with whitewash
on unplastered walls
patios full of uneven weeds
washtubs leaning on wires for hanging clothes
windows with broken flowerpots
and always open.
This is an excerpt. The full text of Ivana Bodrožić’s No Room, translated by Ellen Elias-Bursac, can be read in the print edition of The Arkansas International 5.
Ivana Bodrožić is a Croatian writer from the city of Vukovar and has published books of poetry, short stories, and two best-selling novels, one of which, The Hotel Tito, is also available in English.
Ellen Elias-Bursac translates fiction and nonfiction from Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian.