Translation depends, not on what must be included, but on what must not be left out
after Idra Novey
You enter the country next door from under the stone
Church of the Redeemer
subway exit. No Pork Chinese Restaurant
and Mr. Chicken, flank the avenue
both strictly halal.
The immigrant stories conclude happily
thus far: love at first sight ends
in marriage. The NGO administrator
can finally quit the dead-
end job and be a stay-at-home mom, lobbying
to remove the ice-cream truck from the park.
The baby sons resemble their mothers
or else their paternal grandfathers. Slender men in bright shirts
lean against shiny, long black sedans, smoking
cigarettes. It is both the spawning grounds
and the death place of fiction.
The little ones learn to become miniature
predators themselves, until they encounter others
of their own kind. An aggregation
is called a school.
Visitors must check their own children
at baggage claim;
are either conveniently
depending on their income level.
The average rainfall is silver
and distributed equally throughout the seasons.
What the bible really says
instructors stand in neat skirts beside their docile placards,
waiting for you to ask them to dance.
There is no binary opposition—identity is where and what time
you stand to put your make-up on,
relative to the points of time in space
of those around you,
their handfuls of brightly colored plastic,
their recession so slow you don’t no
tice it at first. Polyphony is certainly possible, too,
indeed, it is the preferred
method of communication, for the birds
are sky-bound at present.
The inhabitants are friendly and curious, and the military
carry their cameras carelessly,
with the safeties off and the barrels
(To return to the Summer 2013 Table of Contents, click here.)
Sulak, Marcela. Translation depends, not on what must be included, but on what must not be left out. Tikkun 28(3): 71.