By The Sea

Nacho Oliden

Green tea in hand and barefoot, she looked out from the ninth floor at the cross street of Virrey del Pino and Superí, to the neighborhood  of the Residencial Belgrano  and the main field of the Polo Club, to the deep distance, a red dot, a damaged antenna atop  a building, shining one clear night. The glorious flame! she thought. Good news! Come quick as you can! She saw the sea now, much further than what she had pictured from memory. She spotted shearwaters and breakers and sharpened rocks, and beheld her face in the vapor of a nostalgic crystal.

In relationships subtext always prevails, and in hearing goodbye she denied the separation. Now the tea was salty and, recalling the  verses, she waited for her husband to embody them, for him to return with his hair and beard stiff with his gore, and with all the wounds he for his country bore streaming afresh, to which thought she replied softly to the mouth of the cup:  “O light of Trojans, thy father's champion, and thy country's joy! From whence Art thou so late return'd for our defense? From which beaches are you coming from, dear Juan!? Oh dear”... At night, the slightest fly could crack her sleep, returning the wife back to her raised spot.

Not one more drop did fall from her eyes. Gradually she stiffened in that nook by the window that echoed her sorrow and, after a thousand days, she departed and arrived at Mar del Sur. She took up an old property inherited decades earlier, and looked for a deserted beach and a halcyon spot to sit and wait. She thought about Penelope and Clytemnestra, about Panegyris and Panphila, about the Dane women, and about herself. Alone.

Buenos Aires.

Nacho Oliden

In charge, with Facundo, of the translation column Paraphrasis, I share hidden or forgotten treasures with the literary world. I find LPB an extraordinary point of encounter for cultures and arts, for discovering new authors, and for enjoying life in its poetic form, whether it be reading the submissions, or talking with the editing crew.

Issue 26
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