Purchase Issue 5

Purchase Issue 5

 

Fabián Severo trans. by Jesse Lee Kercheval & Laura Cesarco Eglin

night in the north

One
I am going to write the memories down so I won’t forget.


Four
In summer
the afternoons in Artigas
belong to the cicadas.

In winter
to nobody.


Five
Artigas is closed with a padlock.


Six
Artigas is Sunday.


Seven
Artigas doesn’t have a president.


Eight
Artigas talks and dances with those people
but works and eats with these.


Twelve
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.


Fifteen
I see that everyone leaves
to wander through the world.
They disappear.
They say there’s life out there.

I do not know
I only know this city.


Sixteen
Once I went to Montevideo
and I almost went mad.

I asked
my God
why so many people?


Seventeen
I don’t go where the buses go
because I’m afraid I wouldn’t find the things I like.

In Artigas
in the mornings
I see lit bulbs
in doorways with nylon curtains
and dogs stretched out
keeping watch.
Numbers painted with whitewash
on unplastered walls
patios full of uneven weeds
washtubs leaning on wires for hanging clothes
windows with broken flowerpots
houses half-built
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.