Aria to Listen To After the Pandemic

 

Man in a mask, Brazil. Photo: Eduardo Soares, Unsplash.

Editor’s Note: This poem is available to read in the original Portuguese and in translation to Spanish and English. Scroll down to read in English, and click here to read in Spanish.

 


 

Ária para ouvir depois da pandemia

I

aroma de flor 
como aroma de vinho & 
coisas que têm aroma: 
jasmim repisado na grama 
exalando perfume 

depois de mortos, 
tal não ocorre aos humanos: 
adoecidos de fé e cansaço, 
tornam-se estrelas, 
como mentem as avós às crianças

 

II

itens que faltam nesta casa:
leite desnatado
maçãs fugi
sabão em pó
água sanitária
achocolatado doce
pão integral
sal
as visitas & seus abraços

 

III

imagens aéreas de cemitérios
e suas centenas de covas abertas
equidistantes quase iguais
ainda vazias abertas famintas

imagens aéreas repetem-se na tevê
e são como avisos recados 
notícias alertas sustos pesadelos
sem epitáfios nem obituários 
dezenas de covas à espera 

 

IV

os velhos já são velhos – podem morrer
vamos lamentar por alguns dias, 
mas logo nos acostumaremos à
ausência de seus pesos e de suas dificuldades

os jovens ainda são jovens – não devem morrer
precisam conter seus impulsos e 
seguir imperfeitamente as recomendações da OMS
para que os adultos – nem velhos nem jovens – 
continuem a sustentar as urgências de todos

os ignorantes são ignorantes – deveriam morrer
de doenças inteligentes e seletivas
que preferissem os irresponsáveis e os inconsequentes
a seus velhos e seus jovens amedrontados e vulneráveis

estão entre os ignorantes, às vezes, os maus presidentes
e seus séquitos de genocidas, travestidos de médicos sérios
e honoráveis cientistas políticos, filósofos e economistas,
mostrando números e argumentos desafiadores
a mentirem ordenadamente para velhos e jovens em choque

 


 

Aria to Listen To After the Pandemic

I

flower scent
like wine scent and
things that are scented  
jasmine sunk in the grass
exhaling perfume

after they are dead,
such does not occur to humans
sick with faith and tiredness
they become stars 
like grandmas lie to their children 

 

II

missing items in this house
skim milk
Fuji apples
laundry detergent 
bleach 
sweet cocoa powder 
whole grain bread 
salt 
guests and their hugs

 

III

aerial images of cemeteries 
and their hundreds of open pits 
equidistant almost equal
still empty open hungry

aerial images repeat on tv
and are like warning messages
news alerts scares nightmares 
without epitaphs or obituaries 
dozens of pits waiting

 

IV

the old are already old—they might die
we’ll mourn for a few days
but soon we will get used to the
absence of their burdens and their difficulties 

young people are still young—they shouldn’t die
they need to contain their impulses and
imperfectly follow the WHO’s recommendations 
so that adults—neither old nor young—
can continue to support the urgent needs of all

the ignorant are ignorant—they should die 
of smart and selective diseases 
that would prefer the irresponsible, inconsequential ones
to their old ones and their frightened and vulnerable young ones 

sometimes the bad presidents are among the ignorant
and their hordes of the genocidal, dressed as serious doctors
and honorable political scientists, philosophers and economists,
showing challenging numbers and arguments
lying neatly to old ones and young ones in shock

Translated by Gabriela Tumani

 

Gabriela Tumani is an international student at the University of Oklahoma from São Paulo, Brazil, currently in her sophomore year. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in international studies, and works as a news reporter for the OU Daily.

Languages

LALT No. 18
Number 18

In our eighteenth issue, we feature the work of beloved Cuban poet Reina María Rodríguez alongside that of João Cabral de Melo Neto, renowned Brazilian poet and third Latin American winner of the Neustadt Prize. We also highlight Latin American women poets, indigenous literature from Brazil, new works in translation, and a return to the essay through the words of Mariano Picón Salas.

Table of Contents

Editor's Note

Featured Author: Reina María Rodríguez

Dossier: João Cabral de Melo Neto

Fiction

Poetry

Essays

Interviews

Brazilian Literature

Indigenous Literature

Translation Previews and New Releases

On Translation

On Translation: Seeking Publisher

On the Essay

Nota Bene