Ana Minga

Ana Minga is a journalist. She was born in 1983 in Loja, southern Ecuador. She won first prize from the Central University of Ecuador for her early collection Pandemonium. Her two books since then are Behind God’s Back and Orphaned Birds. Ana Minga’s poetry has appeared in Asheville Poetry Review, Bitter Oleander, Boulevard, Confrontation, Hampden-Sydney Poetry ReviewLake Effect, Per Contra and RosebudTobacco Dogs will come out in October from Bitter Oleander Press.

Alexis Levitin (translator) has thirty-two books in translation include Clarice Lispector’s Soulstorm and Eugenio de Andrade’s Forbidden Words (both from New Directions). His most recent book is Salgado Maranhão’s Blood of the Sun (Milkweed Editions, 2012). He has just finished work on Ana Minga’s Tobacco Dogs due to appear in the fall from Bitter Oleander Press and the bilingual publication of Eugenio de Andrade’s The Art of Patience (Red Dragonfly Press, 2013).


I have sought the dead among the living

while my heart beat on without reply.
If only I could know what hovers round them
when they gaze at flowers
when they turn to fire
when silence scratches out their words.

I have sought the dead
while wine soaked my face
while night
fell to the blade of battle…


but not one of my dead has been defeated
that’s why I seek them
for their valor
since somewhere they must be reproducing
turning to truth
turning to fruit
but where
where else can I go…

If my dead are not with the other dead
if my dead are not with the living either
if my dead have not yet gone
if my dead are children…

Where are they?
could solitude have devoured them?
could the fat one have taken their picture?
could they be caught in those prints?


Could it be a living person can never reach the ears of the dead
could it be one has to know the map of the cemetery
in order to come upon one’s perfect resignation…

I seek and do not find
and should I enter the uncertain
if worms will eat me free of doubt…?



y el corazón me ha latido sin respuestas
si pudiera saber qué les ronda
cuándo miran las flores
cuándo se hacen fuego
cuándo el silencio raspa sus palabras.

He buscado a los muertos
mientras el vino me ha empapado la cara
mientras la noche
se ha caído al filo de la batalla…


pero ningún muerto mío se ha ido derrotado
por eso los busco
por valientes

pues en algún lugar deben estar multiplicándose
haciéndose verdad
haciéndose fruto
pero dónde
a dónde más ir…

Si mis muertos no están con los otros muertos
si mis muertos tampoco están con los vivos
si mis muertos aún no se han ido
si mis muertos son niños…

¿Dónde están?
¿la soledad se los tragaría?
¿la muy obesa les habrá tomado fotos?
¿será que allí están estampados?


Será que un vivo nunca puede llegar a los oídos de un muerto
será que hay que conocer el mapa del cementerio
para dar con la resignación exacta…

Busco sin encontrar
¿y cruzar lo incierto?
¿si los gusanos me comen sin dudar…?

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