Calvary by Camila Charry Noriega, translated by Olivia Lott

The cow lies down across the grass and waits for the wound
the knife’s glint;
that second of oblivion leading to otherness.
To prevent hunger
the mother plunges her son’s face
into the cow’s warm entrails;
that universe of flesh and insides.
The boy gazes for a moment
into the dead cow’s open eyes
and fathoms his own,
his muffled voice
distorted by his breath
and the last breath of what exists.
Camila Charry Noriega was born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1979. She currently works as a writer, literary critic, and literature teacher. Among her books of poetry are Detrás de la bruma (2012), El día de hoy (2013), Otros ojos (2014), and El sol y la carne (2015). She has been invited to read her work at a wide-range of poetry events in Europe and the Americas and some of her poems have been translated into English, French, Romanian, and Polish.

Olivia Lott is a doctoral student in Hispanic Languages & Literatures at Washington University in St. Louis, specializing in contemporary Spanish American poetry and literary translation. She is the recipient of a 2015-16 Fulbright grant to translate new poetry from Colombia. Her translations of Colombian poetry have appeared in literary journals in and beyond the United States, including Mantis, Sakura Review, Círculo de poesía, La raíz invertida, and Otro páramo.