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The Niche Desired

by Fanny Rubio
Translated from Spanish by
Rebecca Kosick

(quiet and with reasonable association fees)
The manner of closing a coffee pot
distinct and particular in each case or
the time spent on the toilet is what
marks the quotidian rhythm. The
intermittent pisses of the baby: the
baby smells, the baby’s wet, it’s that
you don’t know how to take care of
the baby, the baby has a rash.

The swallows, four, seven, of break-
fast. The same number of steps on
Monday, on Tuesday, on Wednes-
day, on Thursday and on Friday give
you a face repeated when you shave:
you have a face of a supermarket pro-

The shock of water against the blue
tiles: some Martians showering on the
other side of the wall; a push of the
button on the right and the elevator
arrives to the level of the pipes,
to the height of the radiators, the
most respected part of the build-
ing, doormat, double mirror, at fixed
hours: seven thirty-five, eight
seventeen, quarter to nine. However
much you cover your head, roll up in
your pillow, shut out the world, it’s in-
flexible: at seven thirty-five, at
eight seventeen, at quarter to nine
the building circulation representa-
tive comes up, goes down and comes
up with the same weight, the people
who see each other say hello to
each other in the same way in the
entryway, in the doorway, in the
parking lot: a special way of opening
or closing the door at an infrequent
time can imprint itself on the silence
of the twenty people who surround
you: fourth right, fourth center, third
left, fifth left. A special touch of
the light switch and it’s like you’re
calling, if it’s nighttime, to the whole

Fanny Rubio’s collection of poems, Reverso, was first published in 1987, less than fifteen years after Franco’s death. Rubio’s generation was among the first since Franco to be able to write openly about everyday life in Spain, and Reverso works to give voice to the complexity of its moment.
Rebecca Kosick’s poems and translations have appeared in, or are forthcoming from, such places as the Iowa Review, Reunion: The Dallas Review, the Awl, and the Recluse. In addition to writing and translating, Rebecca is currently pursuing her PhD in Comparative Literature at Cornell University.