In Translation: Three Poems by Ximena Gómez

Photo: © Stefan Hengst. All rights reserved.

Ximena Gómez is a Colombian-born author now based in the US. Three of her poems appear here in publication for the first time in their original Spanish, “Felicidad con mosca,” “Dorado,” and “Tríada edípica” along with their English translations, respectively, “Happiness with Fly,” “Dorado,” and “Oedipal Triad.”

In a joint collaboration, Ximena Gómez and George Franklin translated the originals to English. For each of the three poems below, the original Spanish follows the English translation.

Happiness with Fly

There’s a jar of honey on a saucer,
Bread slices,
A jug of milk,
A copper coffeepot,
An egg waits in the Chinese teacup,
Everything’s on the table
And the scent of coffee.
There’s the sun staring into the glass,
A fly fluttering on the tablecloth.

Felicidad con mosca

Hay un pote de miel sobre un platillo,
Rebanadas de pan,
Una jarra de leche,
Cafetera de cobre,
Un huevo espera en la tacita china,
Todo puesto en la mesa
Y el tufillo a café.
Hay un sol que se mira en el cristal
Y una mosca aletea en el mantel.

~

Dorado

In the garden at night, the red bromeliad was black.
The colored lamp dyed the cutlery golden.

The wind came in through the glass doors.
Your cheeks flushed as a golden fish came out of the oven.

On cork, wood, and blue linen,
There was salad, bread, and a white portion of golden fish.

After red wine and a cup of espresso,
In our mouths, the aftertaste of gold remained.

A dirty roasting pan in the kitchen sink,
Grease and carbon, the remnants of a golden fish.

Dorado

En el jardín de noche, la bromelia roja era negra.
La lámpara de colores teñía los cubiertos de dorado.

El viento entraba por las puertas de vidrio,
Tus mejillas ardían al sacar del horno un pez dorado.

Sobre corcho, madera y lino azul
Hubo ensalada, pan y un pedazo blanco de dorado.

Después del vino tinto y el café expreso,
En la boca aún sentíamos el regusto del dorado.

En el lavaplatos quedó el molde de latón con manchas,
Grasa y carbón de lo que fuera un pez dorado.

~

Oedipal Triad

While you hug me near the dining room,
Your dog wanders nearby.

When you kiss me as I enter the house,
Your dog raises his muzzle, begging, whining.

While we take a siesta,
Your dog lies near our bed.

When you brew coffee in the kitchen,
Your dog sniffs your shoes, your footprints on the floor.

While we talk after dinner,
Your dog brings his nostrils closer, asks me to pet him.

When we sleep with the door locked,
Your dog falls asleep in the hallway.

Tríada edípica

Mientras me abrazas cerca del comedor,
Tu perro deambula cerca de nosotros.

Cuando me besas al llegar a casa,
Tu perro alza el hocico suplicante, gime.

Mientras tomamos una siesta,
Tu perro yace cerca de nuestra cama.

Cuando preparas el café en la cocina,
Tu perro huele tus zapatos, tus huellas en el piso.

Mientras hablamos después de la cena,
Tu perro acerca las narices, me pide una caricia.

Cuando dormimos con la puerta asegurada,
Tu perro se duerme en el corredor.

About the Author

Ximena Gómez is a Colombian poet, psychologist, and translator, who now lives in Miami. Her poems have appeared in numerous Spanish-language journals, and bilingually in Sheila-Na-Gig, Cigar City Journal, and also here in , where she received a nomination for a 2018 Best of the Net award. A collection of her poems, Habitación con moscas, was published by Editorial Torremozas (Madrid 2016). Her fiction has appeared in the New Anthology of Hispano-American Poetry and Narrative, Lord Byron Ediciones (Madrid 2017), and she is the translator of George Franklin’s bilingual collection Among the Ruins / Entre las ruinas from Katakana Editores (Miami 2018).

About the Co-Translator

George Franklin’s manuscript Traveling for No Good Reason won the 2018 Sheila-Na-Gig Editions competition and is now in bookstores, and available online from the publisher. A bilingual collection, Among the Ruins / Entre las ruinas, translated by Ximena Gómez was published in 2018 by Katakana Editores, and his individual poems have appeared here in  and also recently in The Threepenny Review, Salamander, Pedestal Magazine, Matter, and Typishly. He practices law in Miami, where he also works as a facilitator and as general counsel for Exchange for Change.

Appears In


Issue 5

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