Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Translations of an Unknown Mexican Poet (6): "The Pigeon"

This takes the place of the old No. 6.

The Pigeon

Even the light crumples in this city, let alone
the takeout menus thrust from street corners,
the flowers bandaged in cellophane, the fire
escapes, the fat-lidded women on the train.

In some back kitchen the men are crumbling
a bag of peas into the soup. In some back alley
the washing machines are muttering distractedly.
The light is still trying to straighten its wrinkles.

This is not a rat ironed flat on the road. This is
a pigeon. See the wings flattened out to feather.
See the white fluff still not completely blackened.
Affixed to the ground, the animal ruffles the light.

Hard to tell the difference but it is a pigeon.
Hard to tell the difference but it is still bright.


Gregory Lewis Bynum said...

I like this poem a lot – the way it makes me see & think of city life, & remember what it is like being in a city. Thanks.

Jee Leong Koh said...

Thanks. It's such a city poem, isn't it.