by Vanesa Pérez-Sauquillo. Translated by Carina del Valle Schorske.

Valerie sees herself reflected in the varnish
and does not think about inheritance.
She knows that what she wants
could be in kissing distance. Should be.

Valerie positions herself beneath
a ray of light in the gymnasium
and the dust does not graze her.
The high windows are open
and though the flag hangs heavy
—immense as a supermarket—
the breeze tosses her hair.

Red brick behind the bleachers
and nets crowning her self-regard.

Valerie doesn’t see them.
She touches her own body, like a promise.
She can caress her own potential.

Half a minute to herself.
Basketball courts, five in the afternoon.
And the only thing missing
to make a temple of her figure
is the chiming of bells.

Sooner or later the faithful will arrive.


Valerie se refleja en el barniz
y no piensa en herencias.
Sabe que lo que quiera
puede estar al alcance de sus labios.
Es más, deberá estarlo.

Valerie se sitúa bajo un rayo de luz
en el gimnasio
y el polvo no la roza.
Las ventanas de arriba están abiertas
y pese a la bandera
—inmensa como un supermercado—
la brisa le sacude el cabello.

Ladrillo rojo bajo las espalderas
y sobre su soberbia

Valerie no las ve. Valerie toca
su cuerpo para cumplir promesas.
su potencial se puede acariciar.

Medio minute sola.
Pista de baloncesto, cinco de la tarde,
y para ser un templo a su figura
solo falta un repique de campanas.

Tarde o temprano llegarán los fieles.

Cover image by Suzie Tremmel.

About the Authors:

Vanesa Pérez-Sauquillo is a Spanish poet, children’s book author, and translator based in Madrid. Climax Road, written in Farmington, Connecticut, has received Spain’s Ojo Crítico Award and the Accésit for the Adonáis Award, the oldest prize in Spanish poetry. It is her sixth book. Another translation from Climax Road appears in Issue 36 of Washington Square. Find out more at her website.

Carina del Valle Schorske is a poet, essayist, and translator based in New York City. Her essays have recently appeared in Boston Review and The Point; new poems are out in Prelude, Prodigal, and soon enough at The Offing. She is a CantoMundo fellow, the MacDowell Colony’s 2013–2014 Isabella Gardner fellow in poetry, and a PhD student at Columbia University, where she studies psychoanalysis and race. Find out more @fluentmundo on Twitter, in this interview with VIDA, or in her one true home on Facebook.