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from the November 2011 issue

Deus ex Machina

Throw the dice, Lord, your turn has come and it is winter. The trident is cornered, the mountains covered with a skin of ash. Lord, behold light’s song here, your due, in the stillness of the sea and the pure discretion of the endless night. Behold your son, Fire, burning the whole surface with his touch and seducing the water with his gilded tongue. Look here, Lord, his stepsister Dawn, liquid hierophant, maker of shape. In their terrible language they tell of celebrations, obedience, sin. This time, Lord, throw to us the seed and the male of the healthier species. Don’t announce him by chance, because he will become a cry and rise up with the warm murmur of pavement, and once again be lost to us, punished, denied. Let none but you, oh Lord, wield the butcher’s knife this time; mature a chord when life ceases and rain unexpectedly cleanses the lovers’ yoked hips. Throw the dice, Lord, your turn has inevitably come. Cast them without fear from your wide hand, because luck’s twelve sides won’t wait, and the sky points towards multitudes and disaster. Throw them, Lord, your turn has come and it is burning summer.

Translation of “Deus ex machina.” From La invención del día [The Invention of the Day]. ©  José Mármol. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2011 by Erica Mena. All rights reserved.

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