All posts by megberkobien

From “Natural History”

Alba Cid; Meg Berkobien ::

4.
be careful how you plant them, with their roots face-down, you say

that’s how it went: the Dutch ate the bulbs brought from Turkey, convinced they were onions. they cut them, stewed them, imagine entire families chewing tiny
codices
of future colors
around large tables made of alder wood.

after dinner, they’d have nightmares.

Read the full poems in The Offing.

 

“Death by Dying”

Jenn Díaz; Meg Berkobien ::

War happens to children, too, even though they don’t go off to fight. That’s what my brother knew because he’s older, but that’s not all, he’s also smarter, and I know that because it’s what my mother always says, and it seems like she hardly loves me at all, because my mother says things to annoy me, she says I’m always doing bad things, and maybe she’s right, but if I don’t do them I get bored. My mother says there’s no time to be bored in times of war, but I get bored a lot, and the other day my brother, who’s older and smarter, said, You bored?, and I nodded, and he grabbed my hand and said, Come on, and I went with him, and he said, Over there, and we went to a field where the school used to be, well, the school’s still there, but there aren’t any students, and an empty space stays the same no matter what you call it, a school or whatever you call it, if it’s stayed empty, it’s nothing at all.

Read the full story in the Spring 2017 issue of A Public Space

“The Game”

Patricia Esteban Erlés; Megan Berkobien ::

They’ll cut all my hair off in that creepy school for bad little girls, they’ll make me wear a sack, they’ll shut me up in a room filled with rats and cockroaches and all I’ll have to drink is the rainwater I can catch in my hands through the barred-up window.

Read the full story here in Palabras Errantes.

from “Arqueóloga de poca monta”

Small-time Archaeologist,” Megan Berkobien ::

artefacto ii.

Se escurren los sentimientos. Esto sí es un intento de tenerme sentido. Qué raro el manantial en que fluimos: las cosas que te pasan con las piernas en paréntesis. Red de pesca. Huelo a ti y aún me queda un pelín de lengua. Lo hago para los dos.

They’re feelings that drain. This is me trying to make sense of it all. [better you not hear this sentimentalism.] I do it for us both.

artefacto x.

Tengo propuestas: ¿Fogón? ¿El corrector en el ojo? ¿Te quito las manos?

A few propositions: Stove-top blaze? White-out vision? I make off with those hands that touched her once-upon-a-time? It’s a stupid story.

artefacto xi.

Imposible la transición. Figure it out anyway.

Read the micros in the offing here.

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“The Translation Tango: On Being an Emerging Translator”

I’ve never liked traveling. It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed living abroad or visiting the various countries that have welcomed my feet. Rather, it’s something in the physical movement from place to place that unsettles. The movement between cultures and languages is a bodily experience; it marks you, and it can be exhausting to learn the new gestures, to contort your limbs into another semantic system, to conjugate your entire tongue. Even after years of not speaking Russian, though, I can still easily pull out the phrase: “My head hurts, do you have any aspirin?”

Read the full article in the November/December 2015 issue of Poets & Writers

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“Ulva Lactuca”

Cristina Peri Rossi; Megan Berkobien ::

Buy a mattress of… He had wanted to try out a new waterbed, but she had thought it an excessive investment. Investment, no, he corrected himself: an expense. Aboard that aquatic mattress, they could have paddled themselves through life, hardly swaying, rowing – arms crossed, excuse me, in cross, arms extended in, the shape of, a cross; sacrifice, hands hardly bent, the altar of some tribute, gods less perverse than you, legs gently opened, like this, hands bent and arms extended, the altar of sacrificial, ritual gesture, swaying back and forth, now this way, to port, now that way. Me above, you below, me below, you above, and the ship always rocking, me aside, you crouching, me standing, you kneeling, me leaning, you from the back, you standing, me going down. Why didn’t she want to open her mouth?

Read the full story here.

“The Port”

Llucia Ramis; Megan Berkobien ::

I remember a hedgehog devoured by ants; we found it near the house and wanted to feed it milk from the tetra-brik carton. It was dead by morning. I remember my brother wanted to taste an ant because the Chinese eat them, so he put it in his mouth while it was still alive and spit it out because it stung. I remember my cousin pulled out a dock tire at the pier and that a crab jumped out, she got scared and let go and it crushed the crab, it pushed the guts right out through its mouth, sprtz. Afterward we hurled the body into the water and it began to float. I remember the time I picked up a log and pinched a lizard hiding underneath; I could swear it cried out. We spent some time observing that detached tail, my cousin, brother, and I.

I don’t come here often and these memories have nothing to do with nostalgia.

Read the full story here.