Victoria Redel

LaGrave Standard Hotel

 

BOTTOM LINE

As when my father goes back under
and the doctor comes out to tell us he’s put a window in my father’s heart.

At last! The inscrutable years are over. I’ll look right in
before the glass gets smudged, before he has a chance to buy drapes or slatted blinds.

It will be a picture window; I’ll be a peeping Tom.
Imagine the balcony of secrets, the longings: our future a window box of heart-to-hearts.

Then he’s awake, calling for morphine,
his pain greater than from the first surgery.

On the next rounds the doctor clarifies:
the window’s really more like a gutter so built-up fluids can drain.

And I remember my father on a ladder
pulling down leaves and rot, each year saying, Do I need this kind of trouble?

Saying, A new roof? You think I’m made of money?
Draw the shades. Let him rest. Let me sit beside my father in the dark.

* *

Image: Marisela LaGrave

photo REDELVictoria Redel is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Woman Without Umbrella, and three books of fiction with a new collection of stories, Make Me Do Things, forthcoming in the fall of 2013. Loverboy was awarded the 2001 S. Mariella Gable Novel Award and was adapted for a feature film directed by Kevin Bacon. Redel is on the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for The Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center. She currently serves as vice president of PEN American Center. She says: I have been quite influenced by many of the Central American poets, Claribel Allegria among them, and am a big reader of Clarice Lispector. My first novel was translated into Portuguese, which was a lovely thing.
FotoVMValeria Meiller studied literature at the University of Buenos Aires and is now an editor, cultural critic, teacher, and translator. She has published two books of poems, El recreo (2010) and the co-authored work Prueba de soledad en el paisaje (2011). She is currently at work on her next book, El mes raro (2013). She is a fan of North American literature, and especially of writers from her generation, like Megan Boyle and Tao Lin, both of whom she and Lucas Mertehikian have translated for Dakota Editora. A few North American poets, Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop among them, as well as short story writers like Lorrie Moore and the Canadian Alice Munro, played an important role in her decision to become a writer.


Published on June 3rd of 2013 in Poetry.



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