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Residue

by Flávia Rocha
Translated from Portuguese by
Idra Novey & Flávia Rocha

The rumpled black coat
Hung on the door, ox skull
in the bedroom—you wear

some other, less obvious color
and leave the accusing objects
at home, under the sink—when

you wash your face and the green
in your eyes absorbs the dark
radiance of a lamp,

you wake, missing the particular
—your hand still numb. A shell shape
over the pillow

takes in a distant breeze,
leaving nothing toxic. Prints
on the small dark

wooden table—fixed outline
on the mirror, a lone reflex.
Ox skull at the door—

agile, decided, you look
for anyone who sleeps.

Author
Flávia Rocha is a Brazilian poet, editor, and journalist. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University, and is the author of two poetry books, both published in Brazil, the bilingual A Casa Azul ao Meio-dia/ The Blue House Around Noon (Travessa dos Editores, 2005) and Quartos Habitáveis (Confraria do Vento, 2011). She is the editor-in-chief of Rattapallax, a literary journal based out of New York City featuring contemporary American and international poetry. Her translations from English into Portuguese of contemporary poetry often appear in literary magazines in Brazil. She currently lives in Portland, OR, with her husband and two young daughters.
Translator
Idra Novey is a novelist, poet, and translator. She is the award-winning author of the novels Those Who Knew and Ways to Disappear. Her work has been translated into ten languages and she's translated numerous authors from Spanish and Portuguese, most recently Clarice Lispector. For her poetry and translation she has received awards from the PEN Translation Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.
Translator
Flávia Rocha is a Brazilian poet, editor, and journalist. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University, and is the author of two poetry books, both published in Brazil, the bilingual A Casa Azul ao Meio-dia/ The Blue House Around Noon (Travessa dos Editores, 2005) and Quartos Habitáveis (Confraria do Vento, 2011). She is the editor-in-chief of Rattapallax, a literary journal based out of New York City featuring contemporary American and international poetry. Her translations from English into Portuguese of contemporary poetry often appear in literary magazines in Brazil. She currently lives in Portland, OR, with her husband and two young daughters.