From "Re(no)vella"

Translation excerpt of Giorgiomaria Cornelio's La specie storta
(The Bent Species) (Edizioni Tlon, 2023).


today the encounter displaces
our bones. It bends
the joints of the defect.

The entire workshop of the body glisters.
It rolls and laps
in a new
Great Flood.

                                       “For behold,
                                        the winter is over.”
                                        Because here we lose
                                        our names.


If I crag down inside you

                                           I am born twice,
and my handhold on the planet           is no longer

                                 I believe it, even.

Let's commence                the vigil of kisses, the truss
between forehead and forehead.

There was                        within us a hardened astonishment,
a stone idol,                     patient,
to be dissolved with a crash of salivas.

“Thirty times around the apple orchard.
Thirty times in the fallen city.”

The backbone has worn out,
the eternal era of the Father.


On this day without judgment,
in a garden unripe

with sun,
something has flowered within
the discontent.

Above our heads, the fontanel
                  is kept wide open
with chickpeas and ivy wood.
All over again:
like new, like then.

The masters admonished:
           “eat from every plant except
                                   for the bitter one”

But nothing tames our taste.
Wherever we take,
in the almanac of twisted days,
                        of proverbs erased.

When the eclipse comes,
and                          the organ doesn’t breathe,
and there is no more tongue to tell
of the poppy, the acanthus, the molecule
of resin                    or of the patron saint,
you, if you can,
                       keep praying to them.

After               midnight
midnight          dawns.

You see: there are many drills
that dig into our crust,              knowing
that each layer is a viscera
of pain.

This dark quarry,
this one that always chaps and cracks,
this one that is the evening
with no more glare:
I descend it.
I go past it.

                                    “and, sipping your dark talk,
                                    for you I’ll quench my thirst with dead water.”



The white bible has invisible
grooves.             Even the coal
reveres it.
Pluck out one eye, that you may read.

Of all the names,              only
one will not be defeated:
the one that is still

Those with dust in the mouth.
Those born under the drum.
Those who don’t close                      the circle.
‘Good walkers’, disconcerted, un-
buried, badly done.            We have
always been here:             at the point
where words


You              who take
the legacy and iniquity.
You who remake
                   the debt,
all the foundations.
You who remain,
golden, but not upright,
you give a verse
of baptism
to life.

Copyright © 2023 Moira Egan. Reprinted with the permission of the poet.