Poem by Mariano Zaro
We are both in your kitchen,
in your parents’ kitchen,
in the house they have outside Madrid,
where you spent your summers as a child,
where you now spend your weekends.
We will spend our weekends here, you tell me.
You are cooking dinner,
it’s the end of May.
You are frying sardines.
It’s very convenient this house,
it’s in the countryside
but not too far away from the city, you say.
You turn and show me the fish in the frying pan.
Fish with heads and tails and eyes.
I am setting the table.
Could you open the window? I ask.
Every single window is open, you tell me.
Look, just the way you like your fish,
with the skin almost burnt, you say.
Sometimes kindness feels like a long,
thin, silver needle.
It’s fine, I say.
But we know it’s not fine.
Has not been fine for a while.
You turn off the stove.
I cannot stand the symmetry of the table;
two plates, two forks,
two glasses, two knives.
Mariano Zaro is the author of four books of poetry: Where From/Desde Donde, Poems of Erosion/Poemas de la erosión, The House of Mae Rim/La casa de Mae Rim and Tres letras/Three Letters. Zaro’s poems have been included in the anthologies Monster Verse (Penguin Random House), Wide Awake (Beyond Baroque, Venice, CA), The Coiled Serpent (Tía Chucha Press, San Fernando, CA), Angle of Reflection (Arctos Press, CA) and in several magazines in Spain, Mexico and the United States. He has translated American poets Philomene Long, Tony Barnstone and Sholeh Wolpé. More information: www.marianozaro.com