À une passante
Deafening, around me, customers shouted.
Tall, slim, in tight-fitting black, with demure step
a woman arrived, in bare raised
sandals, adjusting the heel, the calf.
Dubious and common, with statuesque legs.
I lunched exuberantly, as if before rice.
In her gaze, shy heaven, there appeared divorce,
exhausted sweetness, pleasure that despairs.
A waiter… then the menu! Fugitive neighbor
whose gaze declared to me another appetite
will I ever see you again somewhere else?
In my room, so close to here. Tomorrow perhaps
though I don’t know what you eat,
and you don’t know what I drink. Oh you who
devour, oh you who embrace the tablecloth!
~ Juan Cristobál Maclean, trans. from Spanish by Jessica Sequeira
Juan Cristobál Maclean was born in Cochabamba and is the author of ’transectos’ and ’fe de errancias’.
Jessica Sequeira is a writer and translator living in Buenos Aires.