Miyó Vestrini | Brave Citizen


to Maria Inmaculada Barrios

            Die in thought
every morning and you will not
be afraid to die.

                        —The Hagakure Guide



Give me, lord,
an angry death.
A death as offensive
as those I’ve offended.
A death that stands for the rains
of Santiago de Compostela,
a death that kills
all who have offended me.

Give me, lord,
a death from the elements,
one that stuns and petrifies.
Wastes snot and tears
pleading for mercy
and wishing death on anyone else.

Make sure, lord,
that the man with unknown skin
recognize in me an animal of the olive groves.
Let your body weigh down mine
and sweeten
the entrance to the fire.

I swear I have seen it all.
The same guilt with which I was born,
the same fury.
Make sure, lord,
that I am listening to Vinicius de Moraes
and Maria Bethania
and promising that tomorrow,
I will enroll in a course to learn Brazilian.

Let death come
when you find in me
some hidden intention of power
and when you know,
from your informants,
of my conspiracy to go down in history.
When they say, lord,
that I have exhausted all the resources of fatigue
without asking for clemency,
then, lord,
give it to me hard.
Make this knot on my forehead
from opening doors with headbutts

Suppose, lord,
that you are the big-bang.
That no territory escapes your vigilance.
That hot dogs are the subject of your predilections.
That your desire for me is an obscene part
of your personality.
Then, lord,
Examine my bulging stomach
for the spaghetti of Portofino
for the favadas of Guernica
for my mother’s cauliflower casserole
for the long drinks of beer and rum.

Observe, lord, the faces of my mirror in the mirror,
I, the astute pusillanimous
finger in the air
fanning the boring crowd.

You could come to the movies, lord.
We would see Brazil,
La vaquilla,
Partie de Campagne
Il Postino
and Gatsby.
You would listen to me
trembling with laughter
and fear.

Allow me, lord,
to see me as I am:
rifle in hand
grenade in mouth
gutting the people I love.

Lie with me at dawn, lord,
when my breath is a boulder
in the stream.

And you will see that nothing
not even the milk of your palms,
can give me a death that enrages me.


Grenade in Mouth | Some Poems of Miyó Vestrini
Translation by Anne Boyer & Cassandra Gillig
Kenning Editions 2019


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