Patricia Davis

Lucía Robles

Patricia Davis Translates Lucia Robles

Poetry in Translation Issue
Volume 16:3, Summer 2015

No, Mr. Translator

I said vagina, not stomach
I don’t know how you might have learned it
but I know the difference between a blow to the stomach and a rape
yes, Mr. Translator, a rape, with all the letters
yes, Mr. Translator, many times
yes, Mr. Translator, the soldiers
yes, Mr. Translator, so many I lost count
yes, Mr. Translator, I bled a lot
come here, Mr. Translator,
drink a little water so you can repeat it with me: many times.
Oh, Mr. Translator, sit down, breathe, calm yourself, don’t be ashamed.
Oh, Mr. Translator, you’re the age of my sons?
You don’t know your father?
Your mother looks something like me?
And it hurts you?

Cry, Mr. Translator,
dry your tears

No Señor Traductor

le dije vagina no estómago
no sé como se lo habrán enseñado a usted
pero yo sé la diferencia entre un golpe en el estómago y una violación
si señor traductor, una violación, con todas las letras
si señor traductor, muchas veces
sí señor traductor, los soldados
si señor traductor, tantos que perdí la cuenta
si señor traductor, sangré mucho
venga aquí señor traductor,
tome un poquito de agua para que pueda repetirlo conmigo muchas veces
ay señor traductor, siéntese, respire, tranquilícese, no tenga vergüenza
ay señor traductor, que usted tiene la edad de mis hijos?
Que no conoce a su padre?
Que su madre se parece a mí?
Qué tiene pena?

Llore señor traductor,
seque sus lágrimas
ahora HABLE.

Patricia Davis's poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Salt Hill, Atlanta Review, Potomac Review, Quiddity, and Adrienne Rich: A Tribute Anthology. Her translations of Cuban poetry have appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, Puerto del Sol, and New Laurel Review, and her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her chapbook, The Water that Broke You, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2014, and she is co-author, with Dianna Ortiz, of a nonfiction work, The Blindfold's Eyes: My Journey from Torture to Truth (Orbis Books, 2004).

Lucía Robles, born in 1982 in Totonicapán, Guatemala, is an anthropologist, feminist, and social researcher. She creates theater with the Silhouettes Collective and lives in Tijuana, Mexico.