Steve Bradbury

Indelible
March 25, 2013 Bradbury Steve

Indelible

—What does the child resemble when it is in the womb?

                        It resembles a folded tablet (pinkas).[1]

 

Having worn myself out naming Bewick’s wren,

Pediculosis pubis, and Saint Helena giant earwig

 

Cain names my problem, which is, “Your Father.”

He says, “You’re like some German orphan.”

 

I taught Cain how to harvest blueberries

with his skirt, how to remember his mother’s

 

birthday (when the calla lilies start to die).

He always wears a beatific smile.

 

When Abel died, I dreamt wild, empty outrageous

dreams of drowning myself and would have

 

except for his sister whom I loved and would have

published her name to the world. That was the Adam

 

I was. I mean, if my name equals “a man,” I don’t

understand definitions. Poor armorial Vater, Marlboro

 

smoker, insurance adjuster, grousing about the secretary

who fucks up your fucking claims and a future

 

sucking all the pink from out your lungs—

if I name you correctly will you die?

 

 

[1]    Hershon, Paul Isaac. The Pentateuch According to the Talmud: Genesis. London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, 1883. 170

Steve Bradbury’s translation of Hsia Yü’s Salsa (Zephyr Press 2014) and Ye Mimi’s His Days Go By the Way Her Years (Anomalous Press, 2013) were both shortlisted for the Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize. He lives in Ft. White, Florida.