Mara Pastor

Translated by Carina del Valle Schorske


Subo escaleras,
quemo una casa,
decido volar,
hablo una lengua que no hablamos,
caen pencas,
troncos eléctricos,
se está en una ciudad muda,
la mudez es sabia,
la voz nos hace animales,
el animal se ahoga en el agua,
en todos, el mar,
alguna vez tsunami.


I climb the stairs,
I burn down the house,
I decide to fly,
I speak an unspeakable
language, palm leaves
snap, electric trunks
fall in a mute city,
the muteness is wise,
the voice makes us
animals, the animal
drowns in the water,
in all of us, the sea is
sometimes tsunami.

Mara Pastor

Mara Pastor is a Puerto Rican poet, editor, and translator. She lives in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where she teaches literature and collaborates as a writer with a number of publications and magazines in Puerto Rico and abroad. Her works include the chapbooks As Though the Wound Had Heard (Card Board House Press, 2017) and Children of Another Hour (Argos Books, 2013). She is also the author of several books in Spanish, including Sal de magnesio (2015), Arcadian Boutique (2014), Poemas para fomentar el turismo (2011), Candada por error (2009) and Alabalacera (2006). Her poems have been partially translated into English and, recently, to German. Her dexterity as a live performer of poetry out loud has given her a place in renowned festivals such as Festival de Poesía de Rosario, Argentina; Latinale, Berlin (2016); Festival de la Palabra, San Juan (2015); Festival de la Lira, Ecuador (2015); La Habana International Book Fair, Cuba (2014) and Festival del Caracol, Tijuana (2013). Her poetry is included in several anthologies and her work has appeared at the Boston Review, 80 grados, Clarín, El País, and elsewhere. She is the co-editor of the anthology of Puerto Rican contemporary poetry Vientos Alisios, that was originally published in Mexico City, followed by revised editions in Spain and Cuba. 

Carina del Valle Schorske

Carina del Valle Schorske is a poet, essayist, and Spanish language translator at large in New York City. Her work has appeared at the Los Angeles Review of Books, The New Yorker online, Lit Hub, The Point, The New York Times Magazine, The Offing, The Awl, and elsewhere. She recently won Gulf Coast’s 2016 Prize for her translations of the Puerto Rican poet Marigloria Palma. She is the happy recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo, the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf, and Columbia University, where she is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature. Find her @fluentmundo on Twitter.