from Vermin

Paola Gallo

The Kiss

Asleep behind the rough fig
miraculous smiles:
surf of yellow scales, camouflage of fairies
in the sordid forest.

I have a path foliage about my face
a furtive worm's albino fuzz traces
in silken tingles aches of long ago.
In vertical vertigo shine
electric shocks:
map of concentric circles, barely enigma.

As in the painting by Klimt . . .
Strange proximity, two.

I Smell of "Amber Parenthesis"

Sinister delirium to love a shadow.
The shadow doesn't die.
Alejandra Pizarnik

Thirst and seduction
speak the same language,
scent of fresh flowers
                                      in the distance,
of spices in the hair.

You were delayed by the awakening from a murky dream.
Aquatic Ophelia, conspicuous vibration
anointing in abundance your own bones.

This poem is the wind arriving to air out the enclosures,
"wing of a cowardly bird," you call yourself, I call you wound, litany.

When you appeared the world stood steady,
a bottomless lightless bloom:

there's no more thirst.
Although I suspect you're cyclical,
I won't wait for you anymore.

translated from the Spanish by Adam Giannelli