An old Portuguese man steps out of a dream about the south
and leans against a yellow wall.
I would like to be his gaze, which measures the distance
between the sun, the tourists’ white thighs and the blue tiles of the cathedral.
Behind paper-thin eyelids I would live red,
pampered by the sun and omnipotent.
Up since the break of dawn.
Playing chess in the vicinity of the station,
my attention would be stolen only by the women
which appear from the north.
At night fish scales and the yellow brilliance
of holy figures would glimmer in me.
Each and every one that would see this would be unable to turn away in awe.
I would like to be a building caretaker in Spain.
I would get up at eight in the evening and go to bed at nine in the morning.
Together with Jose we would await the dark, so we could go onto the streets.
We would never take part in the workers’ party protests,
because their day problems would be of no concern to us.
Who else does the empty city at night from Monday to Friday belong to?
If it would rain, we would stand in the door of the bars,
drinking Estrella Galicia,
spitting out olive pits on the glistening cobblestones.
If the rain didn’t let us to finish our work, we would wash the streets with chlorine,
while the exchange students coming from the Old Town would laugh,
leaping over the water barriers we had left them.
If a miracle would occur and it would start snowing,
we would clutch the snow in our hands and throw it into the fountains.
After reaching the top of the steepest street in Vigo, we would go to sleep.
The air would smell of camellia,
which were put into piles in the shadow of imported eucalyptus trees.
ANNA BELKOVSKA is a Latvian poet and playwright. She has been published in multiple online and printed magazines since 2015. Anna’s poetry book Veranda won in the category of Best Debut at the 2021 Annual Latvian Literature Awards.
About the Translator:
JAYDE WILL is a writer and translator. Recent translations include Alberts Bels’s novel Insomnia (Parthian Books, 2020), Arvis Viguls’s poetry collection They (Valley Press, 2020), and The Last Model, an anthology of Latgalian poetry (Francis Boutle Publishers 2020). His poetry, short stories, and essays can be found in Words Without Borders, Vilnius Review, punctummagazine.lv, Strāva, Avīzes Nosaukums, and Panel Magazine.