“Looking for poems for this anthology, I realised that I tend to wonder, in my writing, how to be a woman, how I am a woman. I suppose that motherhood erased the few certainties that I thought I had about that, and at the same time it pushed me to look afresh, but this time seriously”.

Why Women Get Burned by the Oven
We all have that little red mark somewhere. 
On my left hand, the one I write with,
there’s my own oven burn.
If I stare at it awhile, it fans out into a triad
over the radius:
my wrist becomes three-dimensional
and, if I squint hard enough, I can see
my mother’s wrist, my grandmother’s
and, with one twist forward, my daughter’s, too,
covered with mosquito bites and smooth but
already resigned to the mark of the heated grill.

Translated by Gregary Racz for Review, Literature and Arts from the Americas, 96. New York, Routledge, 2018.

Why on bad days we look at pictures from our trips
Not to recall how we walked 
along this street where the green orbs 
of the traffic lights dissolved in the fog 
and in some ancient strata of the sky 
even the moon did a tired song and dance 
but to tell ourselves: once 
we slept facing this window 
beside this patio we had coffee 
in complete silence 
and complete solitude 
chewing this dark foreign bread 
and noting in green ink: 
I am this 
                         is me 

Translated by Shira Rubenstein

The wind flung open the balcony doors 
and undammed a river of scraps through the living room,
anything loose or resting on surfaces:
Cars playing cards, pencil shavings,
bills, wads of crepe paper,
drawings signed and unsigned,
a sticker, an uncoiled paper clip.
It roared, the wind, and brought a frenetic rain.
We went out to scream on the balcony,
my two children and I, because it was a hard year
and I figured we deserved it.

Translated by Shira Rubenstein

Plastic moon
We are in a dark living room 
where I want everything except what I have. 
Without shoes, on the floor, drinking wine 
from crystal glasses, they put on loud music 
and I ask myself: why do we  
never play this music? 
The possibility of pleasure is lifting me off the ground 
and the impossibility of pleasure is making me dizzy. 
I lean out of the window to take in some air, 
but there isn’t any more, here, than the tight alignment 
of back patios and fire escapes, 
the absence of sound sarcastically shaken 
by the magical music, a darkness of the city’s suburbs 
barely known. That’s why I need to go out on the street. 
I put on my shoes, leave, 
under the muddy light that the chequered floor sucks in like a sponge, 
and while I think so much, I think. 
Why do we never play this music? 
I stop on the frozen pavement. There are no smells. 
I can’t make out the window 
from which I have come. A group of men in the shadows 
take me back to fearfulness. Oh, but thanks. 

Translated by Richard Gwyn for The Other Tiger – Recent Poetry from Latin America. Wales, Seren Books, 2018.

Laura Wittner

Laura Wittner was born in 1967, in Buenos Aires. A graduate in literature from the University of Buenos Aires, she coordinates poetry and translation workshops as well as working as a translator for different publishing houses. She has published eleven poetry books, the most recent being The Height (La altura, Buenos Aires, Bajo la Luna, 2016), Why Do We Still Insist on Travelling? (Por qué insistimos con los viajes, Torrequemada, Spain, Ediciones Liliputienses, 2012/2017) and Places Where One is Not - Poems 1996-2016 (Lugares donde una no está – Poemas 1996-2016,Buenos Aires, Gog y Magog, 2017).  She has also published children’s books, the most recent being Tell Me How you Fly (Dime cómo vuelas, Buenos Aires, Tres en Línea, 2019) and The Enthusiasms (Los entusiasmos, Buenos Aires, Del Naranjo, 2019).