Natalia Toledo

Translated from the Zapotec and Spanish by Clare Sullivan

The table with an uneven leg
is wrapped in white ruffles,
a candle flickers
and Baby Jesus opens his eyes—shutters beneath
his curly stucco hair.
After I threw him from his bed of hay
I glued him together with sap and saliva.
Corn cobs, isthmus jasmine and mayflowers are spread upon the table
and in the center of it all, Aunt Rosi’s image
watches people crossing themselves in our house.
I see smoke dance
and vanish figures in the air.
I hear a voice:
the devil has wings.

The Spanish and Zapotec versions by Natalia Toledo, "La Mesa de Santos" and "Mexa’ bidó’", are available in issue 27.1