María Belén Milla Altabás – Poem of Appetite and Oxen – translated by the Author

They allowed their beauty, their genitals

this is how the world was shaped

we believed in a common language

well eaten, abandonment

is a natural science, what will you learn

from all this? –be


and be how we preached

fury, female, nylon!

there is no adult way to wish

in this language with gaps: orgasm! and

there are no things of our own either

there are only noises

certain noises

and people

there is only a giant indoor world

where you barter

just to exchange one ox

for another ox

in the beef market

negotiating the price is useless

to be called Carmen, Pilar

they all have something red and walk away

and are home-made

and whose opportunity is it to be historic?

losing the contemplative life, the pacific


you are a hero or a poet

the rest is a private matter of language

the rest is to think about the crack and become

something that is sung with hunger

and getting married and being mortal are not small tasks

the beautiful baby butts, Luisa, the other

desires, the immense

roof of things, the obedient

dogs. Helena

neither the Trojan nor the viviparous nor me

nor the Memphis blues legend

not even the other


just to surround surround

surround with the foolish

arms. what is leaving

borrowing angels and short engagements

borrowing lions, loves (the tectonic ones)

a little more nylon

but no love will make us similar

we will reveal to the world and the world

will turn its back on us.

María Belén Milla Altabás was born in 1991 in Lima, Perú. She studied Hispanic Literature at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and a master in Medieval Studies at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She has published the book of poems Amplitud del mito (2018) and Todas las Nancys (2022). She currently studies a PhD in Literary Studies at Universidad Complutense de Madrid.