The things in there don’t complain, don’t ask any god
to turn out the light. They wait their turn.
Some are past their use-by, but stay there all the same.
I’d like to be the Coca-Cola bottle
that I fill with water from the tap. Something that accepts its lot
without a fuss.
I live above a Chinese supermarket.
The other day I hung trousers from the window
and the wind carried them off. I had to go downstairs, had to ask permission.
They let me into the storeroom: it was like arriving
at the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
For a long time I thought the noise was from the bakery
half-way down the street. Turns out it’s not,
it’s from the Chinese place.
There’s a huge motor they use to ventilate their goods.
The things in there don’t complain, don’t ask any god for quiet.
Everything that shines is a satellite of some faint star.
Some day the star will expire
before its rays
and we’ll plummet into a foolish faith.
If there weren’t sadder things,
that would be a sad thing.
From Antitierra (Libros del Pez Espiral, Santiago de Chile, 2014)
Translated by Elizabeth Bryer
This poem was published in The Lifted Brow #36. Purchase a copy here.
Valerina Tentoni born in Bahia Blanca, is a writer and journalist. She is the author of Batalla sonora (2009) and Antitierra (2014), and of two short story collections, El sistema del silencio (2012) and Furia diamante (2015).