Joana Urtasun


Now that I’m in Madrid I can think
and the city hiccups under my feet
—given the Latin blood and that.
Even the fountain spurts mornings before school
turning the bus stop into a Bodegón
veiled in today’s cellophane.
More than one person in my family has said
El mundo es un pañuelo and language continues
to stutter. Each time a stranger stays
it smells of paint again. And P is back
from Mexico with a worn mind
and a Majorelle stool on which I tie my shoe
when he turns away. H is sewing in Hereford
and I pity him pitying me
because his father has gout
and can’t look me in the eye.
Even in this landlocked place,
as I sit beneath the oval shadow of a Madroño,
the Atlantic feels less abstract than you
barefoot, brewing coffee beyond it,
and the April afternoon presses itself to pulp.



Jo Urtasun is a poet and translator who grew up between the Basque Country and the UK. She recently completed her MFA in Poetry and Literary Translation at Columbia University. Her work has been published in Anthropocene Poetry Journal, Some Kind of Opening and No, Dear Magazine, among others. She is currently based in New York.

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