The Empty House
Invite no one
into our house,
for they will repair
the doors, windows, staircase
they will see the moths
in the corners,
the rusty locks,
the blind, ruined lamps.
Don’t bring anyone to our house
for they would only anguish
on account of your table,
your bed, the tablecloth,
the furniture, laugh pitifully
at the cups, pretend to
endure nostalgia for my name,
make fun, what is more, of our hammock.
Don’t bring people to our house any more
for they would write you songs,
enervate your soul,
plant a flower at your window.
That’s why – I beg you – you must
not bring people to our house,
for they would turn pink,
greenish, reddish, blueish,
on discovering broken walls
and withered plants.
They would want to sweep out the corners
open our blinds,
and find, tucked away among my books
the perverse excuses they are searching for.
Don’t bring anyone to our house any more,
for they would discover our ridiculous things
carry you off to faraway beaches
tell you tales of shipwrecks
drag you from our house.
Siomara España (b. 1976 Guayaquil, Ecuador)
English translation by Richard Gwyn, of ‘La casa vacia’, first published in Poetry Wales Vol 47 No 1, Summer 2011.