Volume 69, Number 1 · Fall 2019

Ayacucho

No me duele la muerte
me duele el brujo
mirando un retablo


El fucsia de las mujeres
me duele
vendiendo claveles
me duelen
saben
a llanto de chicharrón
y aguacero de uva


Doce cruces
lunas muertas


Y lamiendo las llagas
vigilo encendida
casi como cirio
duplicado triplicado


Casi como otros
recontando los cuervos
tantos, miles
uno por cada olvido.

Ayacucho

translated from the Spanish by
Jennifer Shyue

Death doesn’t hurt me
the medicine man hurts me
as he stares at an altar


The fuchsia of the women
hurts
selling carnations
hurts
tastes like
pork rind weeping
and deluge of grape


Twelve crosses
lifeless moons


And licking wounds
I stand watch, lit up
almost like a wax candle
duplicated triplicated


Almost like the others
recounting the crows—
so many, thousands
one for every forgetting.


Julia Wong Kcomt is a Chinese-Peruvian writer. Born in Chepén, Peru, she has lived on three continents. Her publications—a dozen volumes of poetry, three novels, one novella, one short-story collection, and two collections of hybrid prose work—include Ladrón de codornices, Doble felicidad, and Pessoa por Wong.

Jennifer Shyue is a translator from Spanish focusing on contemporary Cuban and Asian-Peruvian writers. She has an MFA in literary translation from the University of Iowa and a BA in comparative literature from Princeton University, and is the recipient of a 2019 Fulbright grant to Peru. Her translations have appeared in American Chordata and Inventory. She can be found on the web at shyue.co.