Skip to content
Congratulations to 2021 Ottaway Award winner Naveen Kishore! Learn more.
from the December 2014 issue

I’m not going to talk

I’ll talk about something else
never that
I’m not going to tell you
I’m going to draw this subtle
paradise of paper
that doesn’t mention lice or dreams
a look back at a brief childhood
I’m going to talk about hammocks
and rosaries
I assume you don’t pray
and you never slept in a hammock
I won’t keep a tally
bruises that go away go inwards
to explode again in the faces of children
your children and ad eternum
I’ll forget later when I’m talking
to no one
about Picasso
all that
not your hand hard as
a madman is rigid
you turned away and
he came back another person
one punch made your boy a man
you can’t tell me they’re children
Goyeneche sings about a man who’s a thousand
years old
I’ll talk about something else
although I come back
to this alphabet to say without complaining
I celebrate what’s bitter in these pages
this alphabet
speaks only of you and my childhood
and helps to get to know death
nothing more
he doesn’t say stop, enough
he’s not the sort to say stop
I’m not going to talk about the fist and the mark
of that shape in which your hand crushes the look
on your son’s face like a fly in summer
I’m going to speak of the way your hand
rises inside the poem
and undoes it

“No voy a hablar” © Paula Simonetti. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2014 by Catherine Jagoe. All rights reserved.

Read more from the December 2014 issue
Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.