from "Voids"

I stepped back from my death
it was strange and inhuman to me


and now my eyes are knives slicing the night to
                                                         split the mist

rising inside
like the tears of a poem

shedding its sadness
over the warm flight of egrets
flitting about

after the docile defeat
now my eyes are knives slicing the mist like a di-vi-ded body

I stepped back from my death

and rose up
syllable by syllable
almost like the unwritten poem
and suddenly
hair tousled by days of abandon

I find your discontent
in a commonplace dress
the furled poetic fabric 
that switches the body on

to disarray

in a song without refrain
some fruit scattered

in the rush to ripen

these mineral days
I want to climb beyond the reach of words
where my death will not be
the death of others too
even if I see my sorrow in yours
and then I don’t.

Originally published in the April 2019 issue of Words Without Borders. From Vácuos © Mbate Pedro. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2019 by Sandra Tamele and Eric M. B. Becker. All rights reserved.