Harkaitz Cano

Late Breaking News
This poem is taken from Norbait dabil sute-eskaileran, (2001)(There is someone at the fire escape). Translated from Basque by Justin Crumbaugh.

The news will begin at nine,
the priest will raise his eyes from the tattered Bible,
the clock's pendulum
will reach the slow apex of its trajectory.
A coy phrase will be interrupted,
choked by an arrow of silence.
The knife will pardon the meat on the plate
for a moment, in hundreds of kitchens
hundreds of spoons
will remain suspended at the threshold of the mouth
when a bakelite-filtered bee voice decides,
'All of the shots were to the front,
according to the latest news.'
Then, the spoon will continue on its way toward the mouth,
even if the soup is now suddenly cold,
the Bible will once again slurp the cowardliness of the eyes,
the pendulum will plummet into the abyss
like a suicidal skydiver.
Perhaps someone will feel for a shirt pocket
- a pack of cigarrettes the alibi -
and find that there remains a faint heartbeat.
The knife will scratch and mark the plate
with a soft, almost seemless incision
down below under the meat
where it really hurts.
It is in that same diagonal direction
suggested by the knife
that we will open our bedsheets.

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