I wasn’t invited to participate in the world’s carnival.
Or I came too late,
after the makeup already had fallen away
and hair had become disheveled.
And so I’m me,
facing a painting of creatures whose happiness is already blurred,
with my hair done and vivid paint on my pocked face.
The floor has been washed with sparse laughter,
made of sweat and shared wine glasses.
The heavy scent of alcoholic torpor reigns
in the air that moves through yet lifts no breeze,
that brings the party’s dregs as its echo.
And I’m just me, the party ended,
with a hunchbacked happiness
Poet and professor at Universidade Federal da Bahia, Lívia Natália is the author of five books of poems: Água Negra (2011), Correntezas e Outros Estudos Marinhos (2015), Água Negra e Outras Águas (2016), Sobejos Do Mar (2017), and Dia Bonito pra Chover (2017).
Tiffany Higgins is the author of The Apparition at Fort Bragg (2016), Iron Horse Literary Review contest winner, selected by Camille Dungy, available free here; And Aeneas Stares into Her Helmet (Carolina Wren Press, 2009), Carolina Wren Poetry Prize winner; and Tail of the Whale (Toad Press, 2016), translations from Alice Sant’Anna’s Portuguese.