Alas, they have had words.
No phrase in the target language
exhales the same fragrance—
clove and crankcase oil—
as that in the original,
the closest equivalent pressing
with the heft of petals and pine shavings
on his ear, while to hers
it tastes of light and stone dust.
Each night the poem mocks them.
Maryann Corbett lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and works for the Minnesota Legislature. She is the author of two books of poems, Breath Control (David Robert Books, 2012) and Credo for the Checkout Line in Winter (Able Muse, forthcoming 2013). Her poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared in many journals in print and online, as well as in several anthologies. New work appears in PN Review, 32 Poems, Modern Poetry in Translation and Alabama Literary Review, and is forthcoming in Barrow Street and Light.