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from Still Life with Loops

Eli Tolaretxipi

Reading from Southbank Centre's Poetry Parnassus festival, 2012. 

Translated from the Spanish by Philip Jenkins:
from Still Life with Loops
In the city of D
my friend S
takes me to an art gallery
in which there is a rock
as large as the head of a medium-sized animal
which juts out from the wall,
leaning towards a bowl
from which it could drink
if the head were, for example,
that of a lioness,
who tired of suckling
draws breath and drinks.
None of this would matter
if it were not that my friend S
has brought me to see
some wings that she herself has constructed.
There hangs in the air what looks like
a butterfly
which is suspended from the top of the room
behind the observer.
What is important is that my friend S
has constructed the wings for me,
that I should be the butterfly
that I only have one day left
to tell her otherwise;
that I want
to take the lioness home with me
and fill her bowl with real milk.