Poetry by Victoria Estol

[i have blue birds in my folds]

i have blue birds in my folds. i stretch. the room fills
with flapping. it looks like the sky or the sea, or anything deep.

i whistle to settle them down. they line up in my armoire. some disguise themselves
in my scarves. they smile and peck.

i open the window. there’s no sun. my nipples go electric. i lose myself
in a blue blanket. the cold in my feet calms.

the egg cupped in my hand cracks. silence. we offer a
round of welcomes. silence.

the air tenses with cries of the new arrival.
the world aches, him too.

[i like to look at dead animals]

i like to look at dead animals. i’ll stare at them for a while and if the species is
sufficiently distant from mine, i’ll grab a stick and dig into them.
i like intimacy dead. there’s something infinite about it.

[my system]

my system based on distance collapsed
so my new one is based on trust

my dog pees on all the trees in the park
he’s much more efficient than me

[i have a lump in my throat]

i have a lump in my throat
i swallow it
it crumbles down my esophagus
burns in my belly
bounces around my intestines

it settles slowly between my ovaries

it hurts

i lay down my body to becalm it
fetal position
the lump rolls to my left hip
sticks to the bone

face up
i stare at the ceiling
its wooden planks have eyes

it comes to rest in my bellybutton


[i lift my dress]

i lift my dress so he can look through my bellybutton
and tell me what he sees

his eye closes, to focus

naked i feel dressed
my hide heavy
smothering my flesh

i look for the zipper to this dress to breath more openly
the disguise of skin falls away
my insides are an apple stem in the wind

the little stick loses gravity
sniffs out green
penetrates the earth

and pulsating waits


Victoria Estol

Victoria Estol was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1983. She holds degrees in sociology and social communication. Bicho Bola, her first book of poetry, and the one from which the poems featured here are taken, has been well received by local literary critics. She earned a commendation from National Pablo Neruda Competition for Young Poets and contributed to the anthology Cualquiercosario, co-edited by Uruguay (Yaugurú) and Spain (Libros de la imperdible).

Seth Michelson

Seth Michelson currently lives in Los Angeles, where he teaches poetry in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at USC. He has lived in Montevideo, Uruguay, and returns there frequently. He holds a PhD in comparative literature, focusing on the poetry of the Americas, and an MFA in poetry. His most recent scholarship appears in Revista Hispánica Moderna and explores the poetry of the Argentine writer Alicia Partnoy. His most recent book of poetry is Eyes Like Broken Windows (Press 53, 2012), and his most recent translation project is El Ghetto/The Ghetto: A Bilingual Edition (Point of Contact, 2011) by the internationally acclaimed Argentine poet Tamara Kamenszain.

Bicho bola. Copyright (c) Yangurú, 2012. English translation copyright (c) Seth Michelson, 2014.