The old keys of a piano, the pedal like a mark
sinking the ends of what would seem to be the final note.
The cues are in the music, in the private rhythm that runs racing through
the city, the far-off territory that we made ours
lost and open to metaphors that said wind, water, or cloud.
Whether perpetual or brief, none of it matters,
the faint distinctions, the histories built on sand
which in collapsing form simultaneous waves, surges from sand
of what composed no longer matters.
The day is just one, which changeless and brimming absorbs the thrashes
of trees who arch and feign the form of willows,
the memories of willows, their whole biographies intact,
tied to the earth, anchored to the ribbed sides of rivers, signs of dividing lines,
messages of loss, these no longer matter. Not the rain,
not your hand, only one of your hands resisting the deluge,
the absurd denial of marks on a body,
the word we have chained to our ankles missing
and which we try to break apart, dragging our feet over cement.
The Birth of Thread (fragment)
An image: my grandmother gathering cashews.
An unreachable time
or the space between a negligible set of stars.
I wait for words while the outside continues infinite:
he bows his head before a window throwing back his reflection
a woman kneels by her child to measure the seam of a skirt
it is raining and yet no one gets up from the chairs
he focuses the camera waiting for them to not pose
– a candid moment for posterity –
what moment could be the right one he wonders and says Look
just when the girl at the edge of the frame tucks in her hair.
My mind populates and empties, a hand pushes.
The door closes and the image fades
but the sound of her name keeps scratching.
We regret not goodbyes but only
the knowledge that that despite whatever we may build
the rain will keep coming
no one gets up.
I said Enough and my echo found refuge
in the breadth of that word.
Translated by Gwendolyn Harper
Julieta Marchant (Santiago, 1985) is a Chilean poet and editor. She has published the verse collections Urdimbre (2009), Té de jazmín (2010), and El nacimiento de la hebra (2015). Her poems have appeared in several Chilean and international journals and websites. She has edited the journal Grifo of the Universidad Diego Portales, she co-directs the Cuadro series of Tiza Ediciones, and she is the editorial coordinator of Alquimia Ediciones.
Gwendolyn Harper has translated work by Chilean writers Pedro Lemebel, Lina Meruane, and Nelly Richard, as well as the Spanish author Emilia Pardo Bazán. Her translations and essays have appeared in D21 Editions, JoLT, and The Caravan. She will be starting an MFA in fiction at Brown University this fall