Carmen Vascones

Translator’s Note on Carmen Vascones’ Work:

This translation was quite straight-forward. I felt it essential to keep the language clean, direct, unadorned. The repetitions of the original had to be respected, since they contributed powerfully to the general sense of loneliness and emptiness that both precedes and follows the moment of love. The only real liberty I took was with the word “rent.” In the original, the image “lechos marcados” could be translated as “marked beds.” I toyed with the idea of carving the pain deeper with “scarred beds.” However, since in the original “lechos” echoes “hechos “ in the previous line, I felt that I had to strive for a similar internal rhyme. So I settled on “beds rent,” as a slant rhyme to echo “ending.” I felt that the violence implicit in my original choice of “scarred beds” was maintained, if not intensified, by “beds rent.”


Carmen Vascones (author) is a psychologist working with abused children and their mothers. Her most recent collection of poetry, Oasis of Voices, published by the Casa de la Cultura in Ecuador, draws on her work from the last twenty years. Here in the USA she has appeared in eleven magazines, including Bitter Oleander, International Poetry Review, Mandorla, Metamorphoses, Mid-American Review, Moon City Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Osiris, and Per Contra.


Alexis Levitin (translator) has translated thirty-four books to date, the most recent being Salgado Maranhão’s Blood of the Sun (Milkweed Editions, 2012), Eugenio de Andrade’s Art of Patience (Red Dragonfly Press, 2013) and Ana Minga’s Tobacco Dogs (The Bitter Oleander Press, 2013). His work has appeared in well over two hundred magazines, including Kenyon Review, APR, New England Review, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, and Grand Street. Two of his translations appeared in Blue Lyra Review, Volume I.


How lonely love remains

How lonely love remains after love is gone
how lonely love before it arrives
how lonely we before and after love

Desires ending up in absences
beds rent
kisses killing other kisses

And you?
And me?

What sculpture will our death become?


Que solo queda el amor después del amor                

Que solo queda el amor después del amor
que solo está el amor antes del amor
que solos estamos antes y después de él

Deseos hechos ausencias
lechos marcados
besos matando otros besos

¿Que de ti?
¿Que de mí?

¿Qué escultura será nuestra muerte?

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