Álvaro Fausto Taruma — First Note — translated by Grant Schultzman


Aos dias
darás o plástico
equilíbrio solar
e uma pedra
de silêncio
adornará o peito
raso das manhãs;
não deixes que te roubem
[também] este segredo,
ou que vértebra
alguma exponha
a mais ínfima
das palavras:
não há álcool
que estanque
tamanha ferida.


You will abandon
beneath the day
a plastic sun
on its pendulum
and a silent stone
will adorn the mornings’
hollow chest;
do not let them steal
this secret [too],
do not leave a single vertebra
to the smallest
of words:
there is no alcohol
to staunch
such a wound.

Álvaro Fausto Taruma was born in Maputo, Mozambique in 1988. His first collection of poetry, Para Uma Cartografia da Noite (MUNDAC, 2016), was deemed “the best book of poetry by a Mozambican author since Monção by Luís Carlos Patraquim” by the journal Caliban. His second collection, Matéria Para Um Grito (Cavalo do Mar, 2018), won the BCI Literature Prize for Book of the Year. His most recent collection, Animais do Ocaso, was released in 2021 by the Lisbon-based publisher Editora Exclamação.

Grant Schutzman is a poet and translator. He is fascinated by multilingual writing and that which has been deemed the untranslateable. He received a commendation from the 2022 Stephen Spender Poetry Translation Prize, and his poetry and translations appear or are forthcoming in Rust + Moth, The Shore, The Inflectionist Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, Asymptote, Ezra, Your Impossible Voice, and Bennington Review.