The Horse Breeders
The elements combine
among the three and genetics
that eternally mysterious alchemy
of the personality finds
the middle son
pulled between a split path
where he is
the older brother and also
the younger. He charts his own course
through the sunny stretches where
but never fall in the shade. In his night
he walks through a forest
the new geography
of a transplanted map.
At its core, is that not what it means
to build character,
that abstraction on which parents
lean as if against a window
to speak about themselves?
But in his night there are no reflections
the forest and its creatures clashing
with the family, breaking
the genetic chord
like a tree branch. Advancing alone
through the bushes is his horse
igniting a fiery arc
calling upon the mysteries of a tongue
never learned by the other children.
Stalking the hill with rifles
are three on horseback
—the terror of the forest looming over them,
feathered birds circling overhead.
They are not sure
yet about wanting to own anything
they are nomads, still strangers
to the world of possessions.
Deer cross the hill
chased with a religious conviction
as if fallen
from heaven: the deer
on the hill simply go
like something smooth that bends
a joint, a knee,
the elbow of one of their bodies.
The children hunt without knowing
they are capable of opening a wound,
that they too are being stalked by
the constant threat of their weapons.
They hunt until the face of the youngest
fades into purple
hidden behind the veil of an accident:
his eye bursting from the gunpowder
of a bullet fired across the hill
is now proof of the proximity
of every catch to death.
This translation was made collaboratively by the students in Denise Kripper’s Literary Translation Workshop at Lake Forest College: Ashley Alberto, Jazmin Avalos, Sergio Bardesi-Texocotitla, Blanca Correa, Brendon Gardner, Madeline Morland, Emma Parker, and Edwin Sanchez-Rodríguez.
Photo: Rafael Hoyos Weht, Unsplash.