Translated by Paulo da Costa
from Issue 8: Cells
The women vacuum the house into their lungs
And many are transformed into trees laden with nests—the women,
I mean—despite the houses displaying roofs slanted down
Under the weight of birds seeking shelter.
It is at the children’s window that the women breathe
Sitting on the steps gazing at them and many
Many women become landscapes
Trees teeming with climbing children who dangle
From branches—from mother’s necks—despite the glowing trees
Bursting with buds
The women inhale
And continuously generate. Become orchards.
They tidy up the house
They set the table
Around the heart.
Daniel Faria was born in 1971 and died young, in 1999, at the Benedictine Monastery of Singeverga near Oporto. He graduated in Theology from the Universidade Católica and then took a degree in Portuguese Studies at the Universidade do Porto. When still a student he won prizes for his poetry, but he considered Explanation of Trees and of Other Animals (1998) to be his first mature work.
Paulo da Costa was born in Luanda, Angola, and raised in Vale de Cambra, Portugal. He is a writer, editor, and translator living on the West Coast of Canada. His first book of fiction, The Scent of a Lie, received the 2003 Commonwealth First Book Prize for the Canada-Caribbean Region and the W.O. Mitchell City of Calgary Book Prize. His poetry and fiction have been published widely in literary magazines around the world and translated to Italian, Spanish, Serbian, Slovenian, and Portuguese.