Juan Arabia: “A Hummingbird on the Bauhinia”

A Hummingbird on the Bauhinia

On the lowest branch of a bauhinia
rests the aquamarine black.
Enduring hummingbird… Purple,
like edge’s pleasure, thirsty
like harmful willow root:

Nectar, Liquor, Hashish: like the origin
of fire. In America flowers
feed legions… Tadpole algae
emerging, cricket shaking out its flags.

The sun is a hermit, like corn,
and the spot where silence’s bird
sings. Enduring before iron,
coal, pirate steamships,
on the lowest branch of a bauhinia:

Western slavery, rats.
Here the hunting sounds
sicken and die… the damp breeze
emerging in circles of rebellion.

On the lowest branch of a bauhinia
rests the aquamarine black.
Enduring hummingbird… Purple,
like edge’s pleasure, thirsty
like harmful willow root.

————————————————————Translated by Katherine M. Hedeen

 

Juan Arabia (Buenos Aires, 1983) is a poet, translator, and literary critic. In addition to publishing three books of poetry, he has written extensively on John Fante and the Beat Generation. He has translated Arthur Rimbaud, Ezra Pound, and a book-length anthology of Beat poets, among many others. He is the founder and director of the literary journal and press Buenos Aires Poetry

Katherine M. Hedeen is the NEH Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor of Spanish at Kenyon College. She specializes in Latin American poetry and has researched and translated numerous contemporary authors from the region. Her translations appear extensively in prestigious American and British literary journals. She is an associate editor of Earthwork’s Latin American Poetry in Translation Series for Salt Publishing.

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