Nine Suppositions by Felipe Benítez Reyes, translated by Anna Rosenwong

Any city is a secret.
Any instant is magic and fatal:
the conjunction of ourselves and time.
Every word traces a labyrinth.
Any labyrinth can be escaped with words.
There is always a full moon in desire.
Always a dead moon in memory.
Chance forever follows hazy laws:
when you least expect it,
someone opens your hand and shows you a key
bright as gold
and tells you, “It’s your key.”
Every city bestows some secret.
Every secret is always decisive.
In chaos there is an occult order:
that which never happened is called life.
Felipe Benítez Reyes is a prominent Spanish poet, author, and essayist. His many, many books have garnered numerous awards, including Spain’s, Premio de la Crítica and Premio Nacional de Literatura, as well as the Premio Ateneo de Sevilla, Premio Nadal, Premio Mario Vargas Llosa NH, Premio Tiflos, and Premio Hucha de Oro. Reyes’ work has been translated in English, Italian, Russian, French, Romanian and Portuguese.
Anna Rosenwong is a translator, editor, poet, and educator. Her publications include Roció Cerón’s Diorama (winner of the 2015 Best Translated Book Award), several chapbooks, and a collection of poetry by José Eugenio Sánchez (forthcoming from Autumn Hill Press). She is the translation editor of Drunken Boat. See more at