The Bend by Fina García Marruz, translated by Katherine M. Hedeen and Janet McAdams


Who could say for sure?
You see it as you pass by: eyes sinking
into a broken, red dirt road;
to the side, some painters’ shacks:
tender blue doorways, smoky
roof: the green runs
to the back, lively as a hen,
pecking at the wash, losing itself
among blue distances.

                                            No one lingers
to look it over. You find it only
when you leave for another place, when
there’s no time.

you’ll not find it again.

                                            It’s paradise.


Fina García Marruz’s many books include Las Miradas Perdidas (The Lost Glances), Visitaciones (Visitations), and Habana del Centro (Central Havana). A founding member of the Origenes group, and its only female member, she is widely considered to be Cuba’s most important living poet.

Katherine M. Hedeen is Professor of Spanish at Kenyon College. Her latest book-length translations include Nothing Out of This World, an anthology of contemporary Cuban poetry. She is an associate editor of Earthwork’s Latin American Poetry in Translation Series for Salt Publishing, an acquisitions editor for Arc Publications, an editor for Cubanabooks, and Translation Editor at the Kenyon Review. She is a two-time recipient of a NEA Translation Project Grant.

Janet McAdams is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Seven Boxes for the Country After, from Kent State Press. She teaches at Kenyon College, where she is an Editor at Large for the Kenyon Review and holds the Robert P. Hubbard Chair in Poetry.