Four poems by Esdras Parra, translated by Jamie Berrout

Jamie Berrout is a Mexican trans woman writer, translator, and editor at the Trans Women Writers Collective. Her first novel is Otros valles (2014). Her books are available to trans women at no cost through her blog

More of Jamie Berrout’s translations of Esdras Parra, To be human once more, are available for free on Gumroad.

Si la tierra existe

If the earth exists
                                            it is to establish
the distance of the stars

it becomes necessary to move adversely
                                    against the undertow

this future doesn’t respond to your call
it is an unsettling whisper
an emptiness attached to the wall

I hold the tree to its thoughts

this land that ignites with the rocks
this land you could not foresee

I search for other trampled wounds
I concede to the wind a body without memory.

                           No me quedo aquí

                                            I’m not staying here
I don’t exist there in the crowd
                  I am the threshold

                  this threshold detains me

the only one among us that nods
among the rocks

this condescending country
          in the country where applause does not exist

neither does the dawn rebuke us
nor cross its arms

I see the sky bowed before the horseshoe
it is a lost dream
a nightfall pressed against my forehead.

Suprimir el verano

To erase the summer
                                  to place the future into question

here’s the way that wind is tied to stone

I lift these ruins with the tips of my fingers

I silence the sea
              defy the mystery of the water
I open furrows in the clearness
I place the forests in a straight line

to the heat that surrounds my fist I give
the same thought as that of twilight.

Nunca estar solo en el interior de la ceniza

To never be alone in the heart of the ashes

in the day that opens onto our path

upon the earth we lack the skill

          it’s essential to move forward as we disappear

like the hummingbird, the grass doesn’t envy
nor meditate

we only just sowed the summer in the earth’s rind

with the impatience of the forests
trees that don’t know how to walk

with a night that drags on

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