Translated from the Galician by Erín Moure


Three poems from Un Libre Favor (An Open Gift, or Abundance)


That’s why we smelled of rust
we weren’t able to get to the lighthouse lenses
we wanted to see the sea garden
the tideline
or swim out to the island

that’s why we smelled of tar
black pitch
rowboat sludge

our feet spread out upon contact with the granite

we fell straight in
or as cannonballs
we opened the skin of the waters
for a moment we bore the weight of the maternal

an atonal chant
in the dunes

in it
we carve the muscles of the glottis

all vanishes

saltpeter iodine algae oil intelligence
the voices of god

the lenses of red glass

all of it






It was my execution day
I moved with ease, could even embark
I remembered all the codes

you say
that my face is a novel
the pages struck from it are the humus of my character

on the table that might have been mine
a pile of forms I never submitted

the day fritters away as it usually does
and in recovery from losses
a hair clasp
—we tied our hair back with black ribbons—
can’t be recovered

in the mist
you throw your belongings into the bag
maybe you’ll be unable to get off the train
be unable to board

from the colour of time I get my character
like the March hare

you alone sit down at that table
facing the houses you tried to inhabit
a wind blew them away






We were talking
and the conversation was like an igloo
a white thread
a vegetal weaving
a dome
spoke of the chromatic placement of the quartzes1

you felled the deer so its body would freeze in the air

dawn chirped from outside the window

an infinite
bursts and breathes

if a druid were to arrive today in my language
it would be a column of greenery

go with the dogs
with your feet gauge the chestnut woods where the waters weave
they are enormous passages
the verse turns and returns at the end of its furrow

everything’s dug deep
the tomb the well


We reddened the rose
using blood




1 In neolithic mamoas (dolmens, tombs), pebbles of white quartz were placed in the wall facing sunrise.



Photograph © Marc Falardeau