Three Poems

Dolors Miquel


The Cathars murdered at the hand of Innocent III.
The mother-in-waiting who died with a child in her belly in Nagasaki.
The three-year-old orphan in Auschwitz who only spoke one word.
All of them massacred. And nothing else happened.
There they were among the piles of cadavers.
They didn’t matter. No one spoke of them. They were not individuals. They were a heap.
Like a mountain. More. A mountain range.
Left there. Escaping from the solitude of being born.
Each birth a solitude. Each death, too. But they were all jumbled up,
on the ground, on top of the grass that was eating them.
Until some vulture in the sky. And they quickly flew off. Or a fox. They flew off. They ran.
No God rewarded them. You were good, you were bad.
Only animals went to console them. Animals. Just as in life.
Animals came. With small mouths, or bigger. Also.
Clouds came. With white cloud mouths.
The clouds rained, the animals embraced them.
They played at fire with stones. Trees came to them.
History must also tell this tale.

Our Mother

Mother mine, who art I know not where
of whom all I have is a name . . .
Our mother who art in heat
blessed be your cunt
your epidural, your midwife,
may your screams reach us,
your love, your strength.
Your will be done in our uterus
on earth.
Give us this day our everydays,
and let not the sons of bitches
abort love, make war,
no, deliver us from them
now and forever,
A(wo)men . . .



Scouring Pad

With my rough green scouring pad, green as a pasture, I scrub, sawing your name with my jaw into my cranial cavity, already full of names, and on top of the names, stones, and on top of the stones, continents, and on top of the continents the necropolis of the stars, when an intense rain erases it and licks my lips so that I will say and say and say. And never stop saying.

So I scrape, I scrub, until I draw blood and from the blood are born rocks with a heart in the core. And from my mouth falls a name that rolls down to where the horses lick the shadow of the flightless birds.

translated from the Catalan by Mary Ann Newman